Apr 18, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd (2) drives the ball past Houston Rockets shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the second quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Rockets Vs. Mavericks: Houston Can't Win Vital Game, Falling 117-110

The Rockets led after three quarters, but fell to the Mavericks as Houston's playoff hopes took another hit.

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Rockets Vs. Mavericks: Houston Falls 117-110, Remains Outside Playoffs

Looking to get back into the playoff picture, the Rockets dropped a crucial game against the rival Mavericks, falling 117-110 in Dallas on Wednesday night.

The game was tied after the first and second quarters, but Houston led by six after the third quarter. The Mavs opened the fourth on a 19-8 run to take the lead. Dallas went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line in the final 2:30 as the Rockets couldn't make the comeback.

Goran Dragic led Houston with a double-double, recording 20 points and 10 assists. Marcus Camby also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds (12 defensive). Luis Scola scored 18 points.

Houston entered the night tied for eighth place, but outside the playoffs due to a tiebreaker with the Phoenix Suns. The Rockets won't know how far out they are until after Wednesday's games are completed. But currently on a five-game losing streak with four games remaining, the Rockets are running out of time.

For more on the Houston Rockets, check out The Dream Shake. For more on the Mavericks, check out Mavs Moneyball.

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Rockets Vs. Mavericks Score Update: Houston Tied 55-55 At Halftime Of Crucial Game

Fighting for their playoff lives and looking to break a four-game losing streak, the Houston Rockets are tied with the Dallas Mavericks 55-55 at halftime.

The Rockets entered Wednesday in ninth place in the Western Conference, tied with the Phoenix Suns, who own the tiebreaker and sit in eighth place. Houston is only 1 1/2 games behind the Mavs, who entered the night in seventh place in the West. So Wednesday's game could be considered a must-win for both teams.

Goran Dragic and Courtney Lee lead the Rockets with 11 points each, with Lee going 3-for-5 from three-point range. Dragic hasn't missed a shot, going 4-for-4 from the field (1-for-1 from three) and 2-for-2 at the free-throw line. Chase Budinger has 10 points off the bench. Marcus Camby has six points and eight rebounds, as the Rockets have a 24-18 edge in rebounds. The Rockets shot 22-for-44 from the field, and 7-for-14 from three-point range.

For more on the Houston Rockets, be sure to check out The Dream Shake and join the discussion. For more on the Dallas Mavericks, check out Mavs Moneyball.

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Rockets Vs. Mavericks: A Must Win Game For Houston's Playoff Chances

Time is not on the Houston Rockets' side. The Rockets, who are mired in a four-game losing streak, currently find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoffs, as they do not own currently own the tiebreaker against the Phoenix Suns.

So how crucial is tonight's game against the Dallas Mavericks? Well, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle seems to think it's pretty important. If the Rockets want to own any tiebreakers against the Suns this year, they're going to need plenty of help from other teams in the conference -- and, really, you're not going to want to have to rely on other teams' play to get into the playoffs.

Instead, the Rockets simply need to take care of business and end their losing streak -- starting tonight, against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. After tonight's tilt in Dallas, the Rockets will head to New Orleans to take on the Hornets, before returning home to take on Golden State.

Houston will then travel to Miami to take on the Heat -- which might not be as bad as it seems. It's quite possible the Heat will have locked up the second seed in the East and will rest their regulars, but, there's always the possibility that Miami plays their A-squad.

Houston will wrap up their regular season at home against New Orleans on Thursday, April 26.

Bottom line: the Rockets can ill afford another in-conference loss, and tonight's game is pivotal for the Rockets if they want to be playing playoff basketball.

For more on the Houston Rockets, be sure to check out The Dream Shake and join the discussion.

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Rockets vs. Mavericks: Q & A With A Mavericks Writer

A different view point of the rivalry

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Rockets Vs. Mavericks: Game Preview, TV Info And More

The Rockets are down to a must-win scenario to claw back into playoff eligibility. It starts Wednesday night in Dallas, where Houston has lost six in a row to the Mavericks.

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