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Rapid Reaction: Mavs 90, Rockets 81

How it happened: Lamar Odom played with a pulse, energizing the Mavs after a miserable start.

Yeah, you read that right.

Odom, whose season has gone from bad to worse over the past few weeks, gave the Mavs a much-needed spark after the starters dug a double-digit hole in the first quarter. Odom, who played as aggressively as he has all season, had nine points on 4-of-5 shooting, four rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in 20 minutes.

The most important stat for Odom: The Mavs outscored the Rockets by eight points with him on the floor. The Mavs had been outscored by 67 points during Odom’s minutes in his previous 10 outings.

Odom wasn’t the only member of the Mavs’ bench who made a major impact against a short-handed Houston squad that had won in overtime the previous night. The Mavs had a 48-17 edge in bench scoring.

Sixth man Jason Terry scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half, providing all the points during a 7-0 run that gave the Mavs the lead for good midway through the third quarter. Rodrigue Beaubois had 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting and five assists. Brandan Wright, who was outstanding in Saturday’s win in Houston, added 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

Dallas’ defense dominated after letting the Rockets score 30 points in the first quarter. Houston had no answer after the Mavs started doubling power forward Luis Scola, who had 10 of his 22 points in the opening frame.

What it means: The Mavs are in a three-way knot with the Clippers and Grizzlies for fourth place in the West standings. Dallas created a two-game cushion over the Rockets, who slipped to the ninth seed, by winning the home-and-home series over Houston in the past few days. The Mavs also clinched the tiebreaker over the Interstate 45 neighbors.

Bold play of the game: Terry came off a Nowitzki pick and knocked down a 3 from the top of the arc to put the Mavs up 55-53, their first lead since the opening possession of the game. That capped a personal 7-0 spurt by Terry in a one-minute span after the Mavs went almost five minutes without scoring.

Stat of the night: The Mavs are now 3-17 in games in which the opponent gets a double-digit lead. The Rockets jumped out to a 15-4 lead and led by as many as 16 points.