Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/17

Game 1: Saturday, November 17th
Game 2: Tuesday, January 22nd
Game 3: Thursday, January 31st
Game 4: Thursday, April 11th

Mavericks 113


Rockets 107


    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, January 22, 2002

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 34 32 18 29113
    HOU 34 20 23 30107

    Top Performers

    Dallas: S. Nash 31 Pts, 4 Reb, 10 Ast, 1 Stl

    Houston: C. Mobley 35 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast

    Mavs hold off late Rockets rally

    HOUSTON (AP) -- Tim Hardaway made the most of his playing time with the Dallas Mavericks.

    Steve Nash carried the Mavs' offensive torch with 31 points.

    Hardaway hit a key 3-pointer with less than two minutes remaining and finished with 10 points in 16 minutes to help the Mavericks to a 113-107 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

    Steve Nash had 31 points, and Dirk Nowitzki added 25 as the Mavericks won their fifth straight.

    Juwan Howard scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who have won eight of their last nine games. Nowitzki, who averaged 36.3 points in the previous four games, scored 10 in the fourth quarter as Dallas held off a Houston rally that closed the margin to 101-100 with 2:43 to play.

    But it was Hardaway's 3-pointer with 1:53 to play that made it 104-100, and Nash's 3 that extended the lead to 107-102 with 49 seconds remaining.

    Hardaway added four free throws and Nash two in the final 35 seconds.

    "They just found me wide open," Hardaway said of his late 3-pointer. "That's what I do. I take big shots. It's what makes the game fun.

    "Everybody in the league knows that when you leave me open, I'm going to make shots like that. It's no big thing."

    Nash felt comfortable with Hardaway taking key shots late.

    "I felt good when I saw him get the ball," Nash said. "We know (Hardaway) makes huge shots so it was good to have him hit that one. It really gave us some space."

    Cuttino Mobley led the Rockets with 35 points. Steve Francis, who had a career-high 36 points against the Mavericks on Dec. 5, 2000, and 33 against them Nov. 17, finished with 25.

    "Tim Hardaway was missing the whole game," Mobley said of Hardaway's 1-for-8 shooting before the 3, "and he had a big 3 at the end. Our luck isn't very good right now."

    Dallas coach Donnie Nelson, subbing for head coach Don Nelson, who missed the game to be with his wife, Joy, who recently had breast cancer surgery, refused to credit luck for the win.

    "That's just Tim Hardaway," Nelson said. "That's why we went out and got him in the offseason. He has the heart of a lion."

    Dallas had a 10-2 run midway through the first quarter to lead 20-16. But Mobley's 12 points countered Nash's 10 and helped Houston manage a 34-34 tie after one quarter.

    Howard scored five points in a 10-1 run to a 48-40 lead with 7:21 left in the first half. Nash had 16 points and Howard 15 as the Mavericks' advantage crested at 64-50 before they settled for a 66-54 halftime lead.

    Mobley's seven points keyed a 12-3 Rockets run that closed the gap to 73-70 midway through the third quarter. Dallas stretched to 84-77 after three periods with Nash leading the way with 21 points.

    Houston outscored Dallas 8-2 to close the gap to 96-93 with 5:14 to play.

    Game notes
    The Rockets' Kenny Thomas and Shareef Abdur-Rahim of the Atlanta Hawks were both suspended Tuesday for three games without pay and fined $15,000 by the NBA for a fight in their game Monday. ... Houston is 12-11 with Francis in the lineup and 1-18 in games without him. ... The Rockets, who lost to Atlanta on Monday, are 2-7 in the first games of back-to-backs and 2-7 on the second games this season. ... Dallas, which beat New Jersey on Monday, is 7-3 in the first games of back-to-backs and 7-3 in second games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 113 107
    FGM-FGA 39-89 (.438) 38-88 (.432)
    3PM-3PA 10-21 (.476) 8-26 (.308)
    FTM-FTA 25-27 (.926) 23-32 (.719)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-47 15-42
    Assists 20 19
    Turnovers 13 14
    Steals 2 9
    Blocks 7 8
    Fast Break Points 17 17
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (2/0) 20 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Steve Nash Nash
    Points: 31
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 10
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Cuttino Mobley Mobley
    Points: 35
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0