Houston Rockets Loses Their Third in a Row.
3/15/2006 Houston-- Dirk Nowitzki had 30 points and 11 rebounds, Jason Terry added 19 points, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Houston Rockets 95-81 on Wednesday night.
Unknown Rawle Marshall added 12 points and Marquis Daniels and Jerry Stackhouse added 12 points apiece as Dallas inched a half-game ahead of idle San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference. The Mavs have already clinched a playoff spot and beat the Rockets for the 12th in 15 meetings
Yao Ming, the only Houston bright spot, scored 36 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for Houston, continuing his dominant play since missing 21 games following toe surgery. Rafer Alston added 18 points for the Rockets, who dropped to 2-16 without injured leading scorer Tracy McGrady.
Yao scored 13 of Houston's first 19 points with simple flip hooks and soft-touch bank shots. But he never got much help -- Juwan Howard was the only other Rocket to score in the opening quarter. Yao had 27 points and 11 rebounds in the first half -- his 25th double-double of the season -- despite constant double-teams by the Mavs' defenders. He hit eight of 10 shots and went 11-for-14 from the free throw line in the first half; the rest of his team shot 7-for-20 from the field and Dallas led 57-45 at halftime.