Terry, Dampier lead way as Mavs recover to drop Rockets

DALLAS -- Erick Dampier isn't content just snatching rebounds and anchoring the Dallas Mavericks' defense. The 6-foot-11 center showed Tuesday night he can contribute offensively too.

Dampier scored 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting, grabbed 20 rebounds and blocked three shots as the Mavericks rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 121-103.

"He wants to be involved on the offensive end and not just set picks and get rebounds." Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd said. "He wants to be involved in all aspects."

Jason Terry was 7 of 8 from the field for 24 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 23, and Josh Howard and Jose Barea each had 14 for Dallas, which scored at least 120 for the second straight game.

While the Mavericks' offense continued rolling along, it was Dampier and the defense that sparked a 22-3 run that helped them bounce back from a sluggish start.

Dampier posted his third double-double in seven games. He didn't get his third last season until the team's 32nd contest.

"We didn't play the game we wanted to in the first quarter," said Dampier, who recorded the eighth 20-rebound game of his career. "But we picked it up in the second half. We've got to be a defensive-minded team, get stops and that will give us a chance to win every night."

Houston's Aaron Brooks had 22 points, Carl Landry scored 19 and David Andersen added 13.

The Rockets jumped ahead thanks to its highest-scoring first quarter of the season and were up 56-39 midway through the second.

"The first half, it was abysmal." Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.

Dallas took the lead for good as the Rockets hit only 5 of 22 shots in the third quarter.

"We took quick shots," Brooks said. "We got out of sync in our offense."

After closing the first half on a 10-0 run, the Mavericks grabbed their first lead since the opening minutes at 65-64 on Nowitzki's step back jumper.

Howard capped the surge with consecutive baskets that put Dallas on top 69-64.

Behind Barea's eight points over the final 2½ minutes of the third, the Mavericks stretched their lead to 83-74.

"There's no secret what's going to get us wins," said Terry, who is 27 of 38 from the floor over the past three games. "When we didn't play defense, we got down by 15. We have to continue to lock in, get stops and run."

Dallas outscored the Rockets 26-13 in the third, Houston's lowest scoring quarter of the season.

The Rockets got no closer than eight in the fourth quarter, and the Mavericks' lead swelled to as much as 22.

The Mavericks have averaged 119 points over their past three games, including 129 in a blowout win over Toronto on Saturday.

"You know Dallas is going to make runs here," Houston forward Shane Battier said. "They've done it for years and they've got guys who can make down shots."

Brooks hit his first five shots and scored 14 points in the first quarter, staking the Rockets to a 37-28 lead. The Houston point guard hit two free and a 3-pointer to start the second to push the advantage to 12.

Andersen hit a short jump hook that put Houston ahead 56-39. That's when Dallas started its comeback.

The Rockets went scoreless over the final 3:04 of the opening half, and Nowitzki closed with two straight baskets to bring Dallas within 61-57 at halftime.

Game notes
Rockets coach Rick Adelman remained tied for 11th on the all-time wins list with 864. He is even with Jack Ramsay, who gave Adelman his first job as an assistant in 1983. ... F Drew Gooden (strained rib cage muscle) returned after missing four games. ... Dampier grabbed eight rebounds in the third. ... The Mavericks were 22 of 23 from the foul line. Their only blemish came when rookie Rodrigue Beaubois missed with 17 seconds left.

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