Mavericks fall late to Rockets in Parsons’ return



HOUSTON – The Mavericks surged in the fourth quarter after falling behind 18 points, but the Rockets finished with a 9-1 run to defeat Dallas 95-92 at home on Nov. 22 in Chandler Parsons’ return to Houston, where he spent his first three years.

Monta Ellis led all Mavs with 17 points, but shot 7 for 21 from the field. Tyson Chandler recorded another double-double with 13 points and 13 boards while Brandan Wright had an efficient 14 points (6 for 7), 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Down 73-55 in the third quarter, the Mavericks (10-4) used a 31-8 run to go up 86-81 after J.J. Barea’s jumper with 3:33 to go. Devin Harris gave Dallas the lead after hitting three free throws when he was fouled on a 3-point attempt.

Ellis hit a jumper with 1:22 left to push the Mavs’ lead to five, but Dallas ended the game by missing the game-tying three – from Dirk Nowitzki and Ellis.

Houston (10-3) got within three after Jason Terry made an easy layup – one that the Mavs wished they could do over on defense.

James Harden scored the next five points for the Rockets with a pair of free throws, then had a successful and-1 when Parsons was called for the blocking foul. The free throw gave Houston a 93-92 lead with 28.2 seconds left.

Trevor Ariza, who essentially replaced Parsons, hit two free throws with 21.3 left before Nowitzki and Ellis’ attempts were to no avail.

Both Nowitzki and Parsons struggled, going a combine 10 for 27 with 19 points. Parsons was 3 for 9 in his return while Nowitzki was just 7 for 18, including 0 for 8 from distance.

After ending the first quarter all tied up, the Rockets went up nine at halftime, seemingly hitting every 3-pointer possible. Patrick Beverley finished 6 for 11 from three before leaving the game with a nagging hamstring injury.

But it was a tale of two halves.

With the Mavs’ 3rd quarter woes haunting them early in the quarter, Dallas finished strong to get within a manageable margin entering the final 12 minutes of play.

For Houston, what seemed like a near-perfect first half, switched baskets and couldn’t find a way to score in the second half.

During Dallas’ fourth-quarter run, Houston went 6:01 before scoring. At the 9:15 mark, Donatas Motiejunas hit a hook shot to give the Rockets an eight-point lead – Motiejunas would end the drought with a free throw with 3:14 to go to help Houston get within four.

Houston couldn’t hit a three in the second half, going 2 for 20 from deep at one point while finishing 15 for 46, three attempts off the NBA record, set by Dallas in 1996.

It was a bad return for Parsons, who averaged 13.8 points in 213 games with Houston. Rockets GM Daryl Morey chose not to match Dallas’ offer sheet in the summer when the small forward was a restricted free agent.

As soon as Parsons stepped onto the court, a sea of boo birds overshadowed him and would continue every time he touched the ball, but the Rockets organization finally paid their dues with a video tribute in the third quarter. Mixed reactions from the crowd as the video ran while Parsons stood up during a timeout to show his appreciation.

NOTES: Houston was without C Dwight Howard…At one point, Rick Carlisle stopped the ball before it went out of bounds, a ball in which former Mav Jason Terry was trying to save (Carlisle was called for delay of game)…Dallas came in averaging a league-best 111 points per game and was coming off 140 points in its home victory vs the Lakers Friday…The 60 first-half points from the Rockets were the most allowed by Dallas in a first half this season…Dallas and Houston play three more times this year, all coming in the second night of a back-to-back for the Mavs…Dallas returns home for a short two-game homestand vs IND Monday and NYK on Wednesday…Raymond Felton is expected to make his Dallas debut against the Pacers after his four-game suspension ended vs HOU…Dirk needs 265 points to pass Elvin Hayes for eighth on the all time list and needs two field goals to pass Oscar Robertson in career field goals made.