Mavs edge Rockets to help playoff hopes

Mavs edge Rockets to help playoff hopes

J.J. Barea scored 27 points and the Mavericks kept a slim cushion over Utah and Houston in the race for the last two Western Conference playoff spots with an 88-86 victory over the Rockets in Dallas on Wednesday night.

Dirk Nowitzki was limited to seven points on eight shots, but had a crucial strip of James Harden on a drive in the final seconds with the Mavericks clinging to a one-point lead.

Harden scored 26 points and Dwight Howard had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who are in danger of missing the postseason

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