Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter as the Dallas Mavericks rallied Wednesday night for 117-110 victory over the Houston Rockets, whose playoff hopes took another blow.
Jason Terry put the Mavericks ahead to stay with a 3-pointer that made it 93-92 with 7:37 left.
By the time Nowitzki completed a three-point play 3 1/2 minutes later, the Mavericks led 102-94. That wrapped up a 20-6 run their 11-time All-Star forward started with consecutive 3-pointers.
The Rockets lost their fifth straight game, matching their longest losing streak of the season. That dropped Houston a half-game behind Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff spot with four games left.
Vince Carter added 23 points and Jason Terry 19 for the defending NBA champion Mavericks, who can clinch a playoff berth with a win over Golden State in their regular-season home finale Friday night.