April 15, 2009

NBA: Dallas 95, Houston 84

Jason Terry scored nine points in a game-closing, 15-4 run Wednesday, giving Dallas a 95-84 win over Houston that cost the Rockets a division title.

Houston slipped a game behind San Antonio in the Southwest Division on the final night of the regular season, leaving the Rockets facing a first-round playoff series with Portland.

Dallas, which was not certain it would be in the playoffs until the final two weeks of the season, climbed all the way to a No. 6 seed in the Western Conference and will take on San Antonio in the opening round.

The Mavericks and Rockets were locked in an 80-80 tie with 5 minutes remaining, but Terry kicked off a late surge with a jump shot. He then hit a 3-pointer and contributed another jumper to give the Mavericks an 87-80 advantage with 3:30 to go.

Dirk Nowitzki made 13-of-23 shots from the field and led Dallas with 30 points. Terry added 23 and Josh Howard had 15.

Yao Ming scored 23 for the Rockets, who led by as many as 14 points midway through the third period.