NBA ROUNDUP | Tuesday's games
Mavericks 109, Rockets 96
DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki and Devean George each sparked crucial rallies with consecutive 3-pointers, helping Dallas overcome 45 points by Tracy McGrady. McGrady scored 21 points in the first quarter and had 29 at halftime. He made a 3-pointer that put Houston up 65-52 midway through the third quarter, but it couldn't last. George answered with a pair of 3s, sparking a 15-2 run that let Dallas tie it. A few minutes later, Nowitzki powered a 20-4 run that he finished off with back-to-back 3s, celebrating each with gusto. Nowitzki, who was named the conference player of the week earlier in the day, had 30 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Josh Howard added 28 points and George scored 14 with six assists. Jerry Stackhouse scored 13. Dallas avenged a 31-point loss at Houston earlier this season and tightened its claim as the hottest team in Texas. The Mavericks have won five straight games and 18 of 19. The Rockets had won four straight and nine of 10. McGrady scored Houston's first 12 points and 16 of 18, but obviously couldn't keep it up. Problem was, his roll prevented any of his teammates from getting into a groove. No other Rockets player had more than a single basket until there was 1:51 left until halftime. McGrady topped his season high a few minutes into the third quarter, but by then the Mavericks were mixing up his defenders and sending different guys at him on double teams. He wound up heading for the bench with 2:14 left and went to the locker room with more than a minute to play.
Hornets 84, Magic 78, OT
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Jannero Pargo scored a season-high 25 points and the Hornets held Orlando to one basket in overtime. Desmond Mason scored 21 points, and Rasual Butler had 19 points and tied his career high with 11 rebounds as the Hornets won their third straight. Dwight Howard had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Magic, who lost their third in a row. A jumper by Butler to start overtime gave the Hornets a 77-75 lead. Orlando then missed two shots and turned it over twice before Devin Brown sank two free throws for a 79-75 lead. After Mason made one of two free throws with 27.4 seconds left, Butler kept the ball alive and Pargo added two more free throws to make it 82-75 with 23.1 seconds to play. Orlando's only basket in overtime was a 3-pointer by Keyon Dooling in the final 10 seconds.
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