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Rockets escape with victory over Mavericks despite late choke-job

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The Rockets made it far too interesting late, but they somehow managed to hold on against the Mavericks, beating them 117-115 in Dallas.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

How many times this season can you write the same recap? The Rockets controlled the game for three and a half quarters in Dallas, but a late collapse put that result in jeopardy. Two misses by Jose Calderon on makeable threes sealed it however, and the jumpy Rockets came away with a hard earned but perhaps undeserved victory in Dallas.

It's amazing how a team as experienced at blowing late leads never gets better at holding them, but the Rockets put on their usual show tonight, with a twelve point margin with under three minutes left. However, with two three point fouls in the span of three possessions, the Rockets let the Mavericks right back into the game, and after a Vince Carter three and a pair of free throws from Dirk, the Mavericks were right there within two.

Despite every effort the Rockets made to give the game away, the Mavericks were just as inclined to hand it right back to them. Chandler Parsons was forced into a tough inbounds pass that Aaron Brooks fumbled away with 22 seconds left, and with a chance to tie or take the lead, the Mavericks couldn't capitalize. Dirk got the ball with Jeremy Lin on his back, but hesitated with the shot and had to give the ball up after a double team arrived. Calderon missed a pair of threes and the game was in hand.

Despite the ugly finish, there were good parts for the Rockets. James Harden was missing, and in his absence Jeremy Lin carried the load nicely in the back court. Meanwhile, Terrence Jones and D-Mo played well, combining for a 11-15 performance, and D-Mo had a tidy 12 and 12 performance.

I'd like to hope that the Rockets will have gotten this finishing problem out of their system, but I know better. Regardless, screw the Mavs.