Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 19 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter. However, the most important play of the game came when James Harden drove past Nowitzki and the teeth of the Mavs' defense. Elton Brand came up with a huge block on Harden's driving layup, and that led to two O.J. Mayo free throws to put the Mavs up for good.
Mayo scored 18 as he was one of six Mavs in double figures. Shawn Marion also had 18, and played great defense on Harden, limiting him to 5-23 shooting for only 20 points.
Dallas had a 19-0 run in this game, and they also had multiple leads of 15 and 11 twice. Houston came back each time, eventually to tie the game. That's when the crucial Brand block helped propel the Mavs to a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Dallas has now won the last nine against the Rockets, while Houston has now lost five in a row overall.
The Mavs take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night as they try to win its fifth in a row.Tags: Basketball, Dallas, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Houston Rockets, James Harden, NBA, O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion