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Luka Doncic has 30 points, Mavericks beat Rockets 113-100

March 12, 2022 GMT
Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun (28) tries to steal the ball from Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 11, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun (28) tries to steal the ball from Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 11, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun (28) tries to steal the ball from Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 11, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun (28) tries to steal the ball from Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 11, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun (28) tries to steal the ball from Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 11, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 30 points, Dwight Powell tied a career high with 26 and the Dallas Mavericks built a big lead and coasted to 113-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

Spencer Dinwiddie added 16 points and seven assists to help the Mavericks win for the sixth time in seven games and move to a season high-tying 15 games above .500 at 41-26.

Doncic had 14 rebounds and Powell had 13 as the Mavericks outrebounded Houston 47-39.

Dallas had a 24-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but Houston had cut it to 98-84 when Doncic entered the game for the first time in the period.

The Mavericks made two free throws before a 3-pointer by Doncic made it 103-84 with about seven minutes to go.

Coach Jason Kidd planned to give Doncic and Powell the entire fourth quarter off, but felt he needed both players back on the floor after Houston trimmed the deficit.

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“I thought the game was going in the opposite direction and we needed to slow it down,” Kidd said. “So we brought (them) back in. Those guys got the game back under control.”

Garrison Mathews started an 8-3 spurt by the Rockets with a four-point play that got them within 14 again later in the fourth. But the Mavericks scored the next five points, highlighted by an alley-oop dunk from Doncic to Josh Green, to extend it to 111-92 with about five minutes left.

Dallas was up by 17 with about two minutes to go when Kidd took his starters out for good.

The Mavericks took control of this one early and used a 36-point second quarter to take a 67-44 lead into halftime.

Dallas was up by 20 in the third before using a 12-3 run, capped by a 3 from Doncic, to extend it to 83-54 midway through the quarter.

Kidd was impressed with the way his team played immediately after the break to pad the lead.

“It was understanding that this game isn’t over,” he said. “They were businesslike and they executed the game plan.”

The Mavericks have dominated the Rockets this season and the victory improves them to 3-0 in the series.

The Rockets, who have the NBA’s worst record at 17-50, were looking to build on an overtime victory over the Lakers on Wednesday night. Instead, they followed it up with another bad game to fall to 2-14 in recent games.

“They were just hungrier than us tonight,” Houston’s Josh Christopher said. “They just played harder than us.”

They got 17 points each from Kevin Porter Jr. and Christopher on a night when rookie Jalen Green, the second overall pick in the draft, had 11 after scoring a career-best 32 on Wednesday. Bruno Fernando added a career-high 16 points with 11 rebounds off the bench for Houston.

Christopher was asked about Houston getting back into it after falling behind by 29 in the third.

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“You’ve got to eventually stop the bleeding and have pride and keep playing until the clock strikes zero,” he said. “We’ve just got to continue to fight and that’s got to be our motto.”

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Jalen Brunson sat out with a bruised thigh. ... Dorian Finney-Smith didn’t play because of a bruised right arm. ... Marquese Chriss missed an 11th straight game with a sore right knee.

Rockets: Christian Wood was out for a third consecutive games because of an illness. ... Jae’Sean Tate missed his second straight game with a sore left ankle. ... Fernando received a flagrant 1 foul after a hard foul on Powell in the fourth quarter.

ODDS & ENDS

Former Houston star and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon watched the game from a courtside seat. ... Houston made just 6 of 30 3-pointers. ... The Mavericks made 22 of 28 free throws. ... The Rockets had just 5 offensive rebounds.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Visit the Celtics Sunday.

Rockets: Visit New Orleans Sunday night.

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