Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Thursday, November 13th
Game 2: Saturday, February 21st
Game 3: Sunday, March 7th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 14th

6:30 PM ET, November 13, 2003

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
HOU 18 26 27 1586
DAL 20 30 31 1697

Top Performers

Houston: J. Jackson 23 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

Dallas: A. Walker 17 Pts, 12 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Mavericks stop Rockets' win streak

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks are starting to figure out how to use all their different pieces.

Antoine Walker scored seven of his 17 points in the game-turning run, Shawn Bradley kept Yao Ming frustrated and Dallas' "Big 3" all contributed -- two of them without feeling their best -- in the Mavericks' 97-86 win over Houston on Thursday night.

"We're starting to get a good feel for each other," said Walker, one of the Dallas newcomers. "Defensively, we're starting to come together no matter what defense we play. And if we continue to move the ball and find open guys, the sky's the limit for us."

Walker had 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists and the Mavericks won their third straight game since being held to 71 points in a loss at Toronto last week.

The Mavericks have since beaten defending champion San Antonio and had their best overall game of the season, 125-97 over New Orleans.

"We're coming closer to finding our identity," guard Steve Nash said.

Jim Jackson had 23 points for the Rockets, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. They've lost five straight to Dallas after being swept in a season series by their instate rival for the first time in 2002-03.

Walker's free throw started a 22-8 run with 7:54 left in the third quarter. That made it 58-55, and by time he hit a long jumper 4{ minutes later, the lead was 73-63.

Nash added six points in the spurt, playing through a bruised left knee and ending it with two free throws at the 1:53 mark for a 79-63 lead.

Playing with a touch of the flu, Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 23 points, while Nash had 16 and Michael Finley 14. Antawn Jamison, another Dallas newcomer, had 13 points and eight rebounds.

Steve Francis had 15 points for Houston, while Kelvin Cato and Yao -- who spent about half of his time on the court guarded by 7-foot-6 Shawn Bradley -- each had 12.

I felt like I was surrounded all night," said the 7-6 Yao, who still managed eight rebounds.

Houston had erased a 50-44 halftime deficit with a quick 7-1 spurt out of the break.

Francis was driving into the lane when he saw Jackson wide open on the left wing for a 3-pointer. After Walker's miss, Jackson grabbed an offense rebound and slipped around Nowitzki to tie the game at 51 less than two minutes into the half.

But the Rockets never went ahead and the only other tie came after the teams traded baskets. Yao's follow-up layup made it 53-all before the Mavericks went ahead to stay when Walker passed to Finley for a 13-foot jumper.

Dallas' deciding run started after Walker was fouled by Cuttino Mobley. The Rockets had nine fouls in that span, the last leading to Nash's run-ending free throws.

"Emotionally, we allowed frustration to not allow us to play as well as we are capable of playing in the second half," Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy said. "We spent too much time preoccupied with officials' calls or non-calls."

Dallas hit 11 of 14 free throws in the third quarter, and finished 23 of 28 overall.

Game notes

Dallas was 2-of-19 from 3-point range. ... Mobley, coming off a 30-point game and three straight games with at least 20, was the only Houston starter not in double figures with nine points on 2-of-10 shooting. ... Mavericks G Tony Delk missed his second straight game with a strained left hamstring. ... Dallas has won nine of the last 11 games in the series, but Houston still has a 69-48 overall lead. ... The crowd of 19,663 gave the Mavericks their 75th straight sellout.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 86 97
FGM-FGA 33-82 (.402) 36-80 (.450)
3PM-3PA 8-23 (.348) 2-19 (.105)
FTM-FTA 12-12 (1.000) 23-28 (.821)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-42 11-44
Assists 23 19
Turnovers 16 7
Steals 6 8
Blocks 3 7
Fast Break Points 6 5
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 17 (0/0)

Top Performers

Jim Jackson Jackson
Points: 23
Reb: 4
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Antoine Walker Walker
Points: 17
Reb: 12
Ast: 7
Stl: 1
Blk: 1