DALLAS, Jan. 21 (Ticker) -- For the first time this season, the Dallas Mavericks needed a win. The Houston Rockets appeared eager to give them one.

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Dirk Nowitzki scored all 26 of his points over the final three quarters and the Mavericks capitalized on 26 turnovers by the Rockets to cruise to a 107-86 victory that snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Mavericks have been setting the pace for the rest of the NBA all season, winning their first 14 games and taking a 31-5 mark into last week's showdown in Sacramento. But they lost that game and ensuing road contests to Phoenix and Seattle, returning home with their first slump of the season.

The friendly surroundings of the American Airlines Center certainly helped. So did all the giveaways by the sloppy Rockets, which the Mavericks turned into 30 points.

"We were just in a little slump," Nowitzki said. "Everyone was a little flat the last couple of games. Nobody was running the floor, being aggressive on defense. We just went back to a layup drill out there. So today we wanted to make sure we were aggressive on both ends of the floor and make things happen and we did."

Nowitzki was scoreless in the first period but tallied 12 in the second quarter. The first eight fueled an 11-2 burst early in the period and the last four were part of a 14-1 explosion that made it 57-34 with 2:38 left in the first half.

Steve Nash scored 20 points and Michael Finley added 19 for Dallas, which improved to 19-2 at home.

"We had a lot more energy defensively," Nash said. "We had a lot more commitment and fire. We trusted each other and we were really there for each other and that's how this team has to play. That's how we played early on (this season) when we played well defensively."

Steve Francis scored 26 points and Cuttino Mobley added 16 for the Rockets, who have lost two in a row since Friday's stirring overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Everybody had miscues on a lot of plays," Francis said. "Against a team that likes to run up and down the court and take a lot of jump shots, you can't really do that because they'll capitalize at the other end."

Francis committed six turnovers and rookie Yao Ming had five. The 7-5 Yao had just six points and five rebounds as Mavs coach Don Nelson used 6-11 Raef LaFrentz rather than 7-6 Shawn Bradley to defend him.

Dallas took the lead for good at 24-23 on a basket by former Rocket Walt Williams with 2:15 left in the first quarter.

While Nowitzki was fueling the first spurt in the second quarter, the Rockets committed three turnovers and fell behind, 41-29. LaFrentz's dunk capped the second run and made it 57-34 with 2:39 to go.

"We just didn't take care of the ball like we should have, that's all," Mobley said. "I guess we were a little anxious."

Houston got no closer than 12 points thereafter. A pair of 3-pointers by Nowitzki made it 97-73 midway through the final period.

"I was a little broke in the first quarter," said Nowitzki, who made 7-of-15 shots and 10-of-10 free throws. "I was just trying to keep aggressive and get to the line a little bit. Hitting a couple of free throws helped a little bit."

Williams scored nine points and LaFrentz added eight for the Mavs, who shot 42 percent (36-of-86) but held the Rockets to 38.5 percent (25-of-65). Dallas made 27-of-28 free throws.

"Sometimes you have to find other ways to win when you don't have your legs," said Nash, who had eight assists. "That's kind of what we weren't able to do when we played these last three games. We just didn't have a lot of energy or a lot of legs and we didn't find another way to win."

Kelvin Cato grabbed 10 rebounds for Houston, which held a 46-37 advantage on the boards. The Rockets made 35-of-43 free throws but just one 3-pointer.