DALLAS (AP) — Chandler Parsons and the Houston Rockets made it two straight over a Texas rival without James Harden.
Parsons scored 26 points, and the Rockets almost blew a 12-point lead in the final 4 minutes before hanging on for a 117-115 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Seven Rockets scored in double figures on a night when they had just 10 players in uniform. Dwight Howard had 21 points, and Jeremy Lin added 18 and seven assists.
"When he's out, we have a more balanced attack," Parsons said of Harden. "We run our sets and get the best shot available. When he's not there, we don't go one-on-one as much."
The Mavericks cut a 12-point deficit with 4:08 remaining to just two and had a chance to win, but Jose Calderon missed a pair of 3-point tries in the final seconds.
Dirk Nowitzki had 38 points and a season-high 17 rebounds, but was the only Dallas starter in double figures.
"We shouldn't be putting ourselves in those situations where we're fighting back the whole game," Calderon said.
Harden was out again with a bruised left thumb a night after Houston beat San Antonio to answer consecutive losses to Memphis.
The win over the Spurs came in a season-high third straight game with fewer than 100 points, but the Rockets broke that streak on a pair of free throws by Parsons with 7:08 remaining.
"They were two big games for us, especially after losing two to Memphis," Parsons said.
The Rockets, who were also without centers Omer Asik and Greg Smith and forward Francisco Rodriguez, took a double-digit lead with a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter.
Lin, who also grabbed seven rebounds, had a pair of layups to get the run going. Patrick Beverley finished it with a 3-pointer that made him the seventh double-figure scorer and put Houston up 107-95.
Dallas was still down seven with 1:20 remaining when Vince Carter hit a 3-pointer, and Nowitzki made two free throws with 22 seconds left.
Calderon knocked away the inbound pass, and the ball went off Houston's Aaron Brooks after he chased it down.
With a chance to tie or win, Nowitzki was working for a shot before deciding to pass to Calderon. His first try from 3 was short and he missed again just before the buzzer after running down the rebound.