Rockets top Mavs 106-98 with Nowitzki out for home opener

DALLAS (AP) - Trevor Ariza scored 27 points, James Harden had 26 and the Houston Rockets beat Dallas 106-98 with Dirk Nowitzki missing from the Mavericks' home opener Friday night.

Nowitzki didn't play for just the second time in 19 home openers with Dallas. The 38-year-old had a stomach ailment bad enough that coach Rick Carlisle wasn't sure he would make the trip to Houston for the Rockets' home opener Sunday.

Harrison Barnes, playing his first home game for the Mavericks after signing a max contract in the summer, had a career-high 31 points.

Harden went scoreless while playing the entire first quarter, missing all five shots, before getting 10 points in the second and 12 in the third. His 3-pointer from a couple of feet behind the arc gave the Rockets their first double-digit lead at 77-67 in the final minute of the third.

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