Felton helps short-handed Mavericks beat Rockets 110-98

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Sunday, November 15, 2015
Houston Rockets' Ty Lawson, left, is fouled by Dallas Mavericks' Devin Harris in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Houston.
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

HOUSTON -- Raymond Felton scored 23 points, Charlie Villanueva added 19 and the short-handed Dallas Mavericks beat the Houston Rockets 110-98 on Saturday night.

Dallas played without a trio of starters - Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews and Chandler Parsons - but it didn't matter as they took advantage of the slumping Rockets.

Emotions ran high and plenty of hard fouls were shared between the in-state rivals. They met in the first round of the playoffs in April, where Houston won 4-1.

Elevated by Houston's poor defense and their own hot shooting, the Mavericks scored a season-high 57 first-half points.

James Harden led Houston with 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, and Terrence Jones had 23 points. The Rockets fell to 1-3 this season in games played without center Dwight Howard, who rested on Saturday night.

The Mavericks took advantage of Howard's absence by dominating the Rockets in paint scoring, 54-40, and out-rebounding the Rockets 46-43.

After a four-game winning streak followed their slow 0-3 start, Houston has now lost three straight again and is on the verge of its first four-game losing streak since the 2012-13 season.

Dallas led by as many as 26 in the first half before Houston finally started to hit shots in the third quarter, outscoring the Mavericks 33-25 in that period after trailing 57-34 at halftime. Despite multiple rallies in the second half, Houston never pulled within single digits.

Former Maverick Jason Terry scored 19 points off the bench for Houston and drew a flagrant foul trying to block Dwight Powell's layup in the third quarter. With an opportunity to cut into the lead late in the game, Terry air-balled a 3-pointer and caught playful trash-talk from his former teammate Nowitzki, who was nearby on the bench.

Harden was also called for a flagrant foul after driving to the basket and throwing an elbow that caught Felton in the face.

The game ball had to be replaced by a backup in the second half after it was contaminated with an unknown player's blood.

Harden's inconsistent shooting for the start of the season continued against Dallas as he made just 5 of 21 field goals, including 1 of 6 from the 3-point line.