The Rockets won for the second straight night and spoiled Rick Carlisle's debut as Dallas coach.
Yao Ming scored 30 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for Houston, which opened the season by downing Memphis Wednesday. Yao hit 11 of hits 15 field goal attempts and made all eight foul shots.
Tracy McGrady added 16 points.
Artest had seven points during a 16-2 run late in the fourth quarter. He also picked up a technical foul in the fourth quarter for coming to the aid of Yao, who had been fouled hard by Josh Howard.
Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 36 points. Howard added 28, but he and Nowitzki combined to score only three points in the fourth period.
Carlisle took over the Mavericks after Avery Johnson was dismissed at the end of last season.