Rockets fall to Mavericks in McHale’s return

Updated: December 9, 2012

O.J. Mayo netted 16 of his game-high 40 points in the fourth quarter as the Dallas Mavericks rallied for a 116-109 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday at Toyota Center.

Mayo buried six 3-pointers and pulled down eight rebounds, while Chris Kaman added 20 points and seven boards for the Mavericks, who have won eight straight against their intrastate rivals.

Darren Collison and Vince Carter donated 12 points apiece in the victory.

“I was just focused on time and scoring,” Mayo said. “Trying to get to .500 was very important for us and we got there and we have keep continuing to build off of that.”

Rockets head coach Kevin McHale returned to the sideline for the first time since taking a leave of absence on Nov. 10. It was later revealed that his 23- year-old daughter Alexandra, who had battled Lupus, unexpectedly passed away on Nov. 24.

The home side played inspired basketball for McHale as James Harden netted a team-high 39 points and Chandler Parsons added 18 points and 10 rebounds, but it all unraveled in the final quarter for Houston, which has lost three of its last five.

Dallas trailed 96-85 with 9:25 to play in the final quarter, but climbed out of that deficit with a 17-4 surge, capped by a Brandan Wright slam with 4:18 to play, which put the visitors ahead, 102-100.

Parsons sank a free throw to make it 102-101, but a pair of free throws and a triple by Mayo put Dallas up 107-101 with 2:49 to go.

Toney Douglas swished home a trey with 1:01 left to make it a two-point game, but on the next Mavs possession, defensive miscommunication by the Rockets left Mayo wide open at the top of the arc and he buried the trey to put Dallas up 112-107 with 38.4 seconds remaining.

Patrick Patterson again made it a one-possession game on the other end, but Mayo put the dagger in the hearts of the Rockets on the ensuing drive with a driving layup for a 114-109 edge.

“We’ve got to get more emotion and more thrust in our offense, especially down the stretch,” McHale said. “We have to play with more pace in the fourth quarter.”

Jeremy Lin drained a deep 3-ball early on to tie the game at 6-6, but the Mavericks responded with 13 consecutive points to grab a 19-6 lead with 5:55 left in the opening quarter.

A pair of free throws by Harden put an end to the run, but Dallas was in control for the rest of the frame as a 3-ball from the top of the arc gave the visitors a 39-20 lead. Dallas led 39-24 heading into the second quarter.

Jae Crowder netted a 20-footer with just over a minute gone in the second stanza to make it 43-26, but the Rockets answered with an incredible 26-9 surge to tie the game at 52.

Harden netted 11 points on his own during the run, which was capped by a corner 3-ball by Carlos Delfino with 4:49 to go before the break.

Omer Asik hit 1-of-2 from the line to give the Rockets a 55-54 advantage with 3:52 to go and the home side held a 66-63 lead at the intermission.

Kaman cut the deficit to one with a jumper on the Mavs first possession of the second half, but the Rockets pulled away a bit, using a 10-2 flurry to build the lead to 76-67 with 6:26 to go in the period.

Dallas sliced the deficit to three on several occasions during the quarter, but the Rockets held an 89-84 edge heading into the final quarter.