Mavericks use big 4th-quarter run to beat Rockets
HOUSTON (AP) — Luka Doncic had 33 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 30 off the bench as the Dallas Mavericks used a big fourth quarter run to pull away in a 113-100 win over the Houston Rockets.
Dallas was on top by 3 with about seven minutes remaining before using a 14-3 spurt, with seven points from Hardaway, to extend the lead to 106-92 with about 2½ minutes remaining.
Houston couldn’t get anything going as the Mavericks took over. The Rockets missed five shots and had two turnovers in that span.
Hardaway, who made 8 of 10 3-point attempts, added another 3-pointer down the stretch to put the game out of reach.
Christian Wood had 23 points to lead the Rockets and James Harden added 21.
Both Doncic and Harden were back after sitting out in their team’s last game with injuries. Doncic returned after missing Sunday’s loss to Chicago with a bruised quadriceps. Harden played after sitting out on Saturday against the Kings because of a sprained ankle.
The Mavericks led by seven points to start the fourth before Houston opened the quarter with an 8-1 run to tie it with about 10 minutes remaining. Eric Gordon made three free throws to get things going and Sterling Brown had a 3 that tied it.
Dallas had a 16-point lead after a three-point play by Doncic with about eight minutes left in the third quarter. The Rockets then scored the next 14 points to get within 72-70 four minutes later. Harden had a step back 3-pointer in that stretch and Jae’Sean Tate capped it with six straight points.
Doncic struggled during that time, turning the ball over three times and receiving a technical foul.
The Mavericks finally ended a scoring drought with a 3-pointer by Hardaway with less than three minutes left in the quarter.
Another 3-pointer by Hardaway later in the third extended the lead to six points before Gordon hit a 3 for Houston. But Doncic scored the last four points of the quarter to put the Mavericks up 84-77 entering the fourth.
DeMarcus Cousins was ejected after receiving two technical fouls in about three minutes in the second quarter. The first one came when he and Willie Cauley-Stein both got one after jawing at each other after fighting for a rebound.
Cousins was ejected when he yelled at an official after not getting a foul call after a layup with about nine minutes left in the first half. Houston coach Stephen Silas was clearly unhappy with the call and stood inches away from a referee pointing and arguing about it for a couple of minutes before he was pushed away by Harden.
Mavericks: James Johnson received a flagrant-1 foul after hitting Tate in the face on a foul in the third quarter. ... Cauley-Stein added 15 points with seven rebounds.
Rockets: Danuel House missed the game with back spasms. ... Ben McLemore was available after sitting out the first four games while in isolation because of COVID-19 protocols but did not play.
Mavericks: Visit Denver on Thursday before returning home for games against Orlando and New Orleans this weekend.
Rockets: Visit the Pacers on Wednesday before returning home for three straight games, with the last two coming against the Lakers.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports