Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points, O.J. Mayo hit two tiebreaking free throws and the Dallas Mavericks held off a Jeremy Lin-led surge to beat the Houston Rockets 105-100 on Wednesday night.
Lin and James Harden combined to score the last 18 points for the Rockets, who erased an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit and got even at 97. After Elton Brand blocked a layup attempt by Harden, Mayo hit both free throws after getting fouled on a layup at the other end.
Lin had a chance to tie the score on free throws, but missed the second of two. The Rockets got one more chance to go in front, but Harden couldn't get a good look at a layup. Nowitzki won a scramble for the ball and hit two free throws for a 101-98 lead.
Dallas won its season-best fourth straight game, and the Rockets lost their fifth in a row, also a season high.
Harden led the Rockets with 20 points but made just 5 of 23 from the field. Lin had 19 with some critical misses among his 6-of-10 shooting on free throws.