The AP reports: The way Jason Terry was shooting, the Dallas Mavericks hardly needed Josh Howard on Wednesday night. The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, sorely missed Yao Ming. Terry scored 31 points, and Dirk Nowitzki added 24 points and 12 rebounds in the Mavericks’ 96-86 victory over the Rockets. Howard, the Mavs’ second-leading scorer, was inactive because of a left ankle injury. Yao, Houston’s top scorer, missed the game because of a sore left foot… Jason Kidd had eight points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Mavericks, who have won three in a row and 11 of the last 14 meetings with their in-state division rivals. Tracy McGrady scored 16 points and Ron Artest added 14 for the Rockets, who shot 37 percent (29-of-78) from the field, including 6-for-25 from 3-point range. McGrady and Artest, both nursing injuries, each went 5-for-14 from the field.