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NBA Game Summary - Dallas at Houston

(Wednesday, January 18th)

Final Score: Dallas 103, Houston 76

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki poured in 29 points and Josh Howard added 18, as Dallas pounded the Houston Rockets, 103-76, at the Toyota Center.

Nowitzki was sharp all night, hitting 10-of-14 shots, including all four of his three-point attempts. He also sank all five free throws to help the Mavericks win their third straight game.

Devin Harris tallied 16 points for Dallas, winners in six of their last seven contests. It marked the start of a five-game road trip.

"This will be one of the longest trips I've ever taken in my eight years in the NBA," Nowitzki said. "We were focused and I thought me moved the ball around better than we have in a while. Honestly, the Rockets have a lot of guys out, but these kinds of wins don't come easy."

Rafer Alston led the way with 17 points for the Rockets, who equaled a season- high with their seventh consecutive defeat. Luther Head added 16 points and David Wesley scored 10 for Houston, which was again shorthanded due to injuries to Tracy McGrady (back) and Yao Ming (toe).

It also marked Houston's seventh straight home defeat, with its last victory at the Toyota Center coming December 6 against Boston.

"We got our butts kicked and it's embarrassing to experience something like that," Houston's Juwan Howard said. "It's very disappointing for all of us that really care about what's happened to this team. The fans aren't happy, the organization's not happy and each and every guy on this team and the coaches are equally disappointed."

Dallas led 19-14 after one quarter and extended to a 49-34 cushion at the half. A 13-5 run extended the Mavs to a 49-32 lead with Howard's jumper capping the spurt.

The lead grew as high as 35 points at 78-43 on Howard's layup with 2:55 remaining in the third.

Game Notes

Dallas shot 50 percent, including 11-of-17 from three-point range...Houston shot 40.8 percent...Houston's Ryan Bowen received three stitches to close a cut on his chin after being hit by an inadvertent elbow in the second quarter.

01/19 00:35:10 ET

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