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Rockets rip Nowitzki-less Mavericks

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DALLAS — Tracy McGrady had 31 points and nine assists and Rafer Alston added a season-high 24 points, helping the Houston Rockets push their franchise-best winning streak to 17 games with a 113-98 win over the Dirk Nowitzki-less Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

Houston's streak is tied for seventh-best in NBA history. The Rockets will try moving into a tie for fourth Saturday at home against New Orleans, the next team they're trying to catch for a top-tier seed in the Western Conference. Houston already has gone from 24-20 to 41-20; the Hornets are 41-19.

Josh Howard scored 21 points and Jason Terry had 17 for Dallas, which lost its third straight and fourth in five games. The Mavs had won 12 straight at home — but this time they were without Nowitzki. The reigning MVP was serving a one-game suspension for a hard foul on Utah's Andrei Kirilenko.

SPURS 108, PACERS 97: At San Antonio, Manu Ginobili scored 28 points to help San Antonio win its 11th straight, keeping the defending NBA champions atop the tight Western Conference.

Tony Parker added 19 points in the game, which wasn't close after halftime and saw Spurs coach Gregg Popovich get ejected in the second quarter.

Danny Granger led Indiana with 22 points.

BULLS 107, CAVALIERS 96: At Chicago, Ben Gordon and Luol Deng scored 23 points apiece, and the Bulls overcame 39 points from LeBron James to beat Cleveland.