THE FACTS: Finishing with a 10-4 run, the Dallas Mavericks salvaged a 112-108 victory against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at the American Airlines Center. They also salvaged some of their pride, with the win coming on the heels of an embarrassing 33-point loss in Houston on Sunday.
Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki each scored 23 points and O.J. Mayo tallied 13 points and a career-high 12 assists for the Mavericks (27-33). Marion also played outstanding defense late against James Harden, who led the Rockets (33-29) with 28 points but missed two shots in the final 30 seconds. Chandler Parsons added 23 points and Omer Asik registered 12 points and 15 rebounds.
QUOTABLE: "After what happened in Houston, it was embarrassing, as a man, as a player, and as a Dallas Maverick. We really wanted to come in here and show our fans that we are a much better squad. It was a great game and a lot of fun."
-- O.J. Mayo
THE STAT: Houston stayed in the game by going 26-for-33 at the free-throw line, paced by Harden's 16-for-16 effort. Dallas finished 11-for-14 at the stripe.
TURNING POINT: With Dallas leading 110-108, Harden fired an airball from behind the arc with 29.9 seconds left. The Rockets maintained possession, but Harden came up empty again. With Marion shadowing every move, his layup attempt with 6.9 seconds left bounced off the rim. Darren Collison converted two free throws to ice the game.
QUOTABLE II: "Shawn [Marion] had a great all-around game. We needed his points early and throughout the whole game he did a tremendous job on Harden. Harden had a lot of points, but at the end of the game Shawn was the guy who got the key stops."
-- Dallas coach Rick Carlisle
HOT: Parsons was 5-for-8 from 3-point range on Wednesday and a combined 11-for-15 in the home-and-home set against the Mavericks. ... Dallas shot 71.4 percent (15-for-21) in the first quarter.
NOT: Asik was 4-for-11 at the free-throw line, 1-for-7 in the third quarter. ... Harden was 5-for-17 from the field.
GOOD MOVE: The Mavericks used their 19th starting lineup, with veteran journeyman Mike James making his first start since March 25, 2009 with the Wizards. James replaced Collison in the starting five and finished with eight points, six assists, three rebounds and one turnover. Brandan Wright also joined the starting lineup, replacing Chris Kaman, and chipped in 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting.
BAD MOVE: Nowitzki briefly lost his cool after getting his shot blocked by rookie Patrick Beverley with Dallas leading 100-96 with about five minutes to play. On the way up the court, Nowitzki appeared to push Carlos Delfino from behind and Delfino hit the deck. Nowitzki was whistled for his fifth foul and added insult to injury with a technical foul. Harden made the technical free throw and then knocked down two more from the stripe to pull Houston within 100-99.
ROOKIE WATCH: Houston coach Kevin McHale showed a lot of confidence in rookies Beverley and the recently acquired Thomas Robinson, who were both on the court for the entire fourth quarter. Beverley finished with seven assists and three rebounds and Robinson had eight points, four boards and two blocks.
NOTABLE: The Mavericks won the season series, 3-1. ... Dallas has won the last six meetings against Houston at the American Airlines Center. ... Mayo, whose previous career high was 10 assists vs. Golden State on March 30, 2009, did not turn have a turnover. ... With 35 assists, the Mavericks improved to 4-1 when they have 30 or more. ... Marion (1,618) broke a tie with Rod Strickland for 25th place on the NBA's all-time steals list. ... Vince Carter had 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals off the Dallas bench, including his 1,200th career theft. ... It was Asik's 28th double-double.
UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Friday @ Detroit, Sunday @ Minnesota, Tuesday @ Milwaukee. For the Rockets, Friday @ Golden State, Saturday @ Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Phoenix.