Mavs without Doncic pull away, beating the Rockets in last place 110-91 | NBA

By SCHUYLER DIXON – AP sportswriter

DALLAS (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 28 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 26, with Luka Doncic resting a sore right ankle, and the Dallas Mavericks overwhelmed the Houston Rockets in the second half with a 110-91 win Wednesday night.

The win drew Dallas 45-28 for fourth seed and home advantage in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs against Utah. The Jazz, who lost 125-97 in Boston, currently hold the tiebreak over the Mavericks. They play in Dallas on Sunday.

Rookie Alperen Sengun had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Christian Wood had 12 points with 10 boards in the 11th straight loss for the Rockets, who have the worst record in the NBA at 18-55.

Dinwiddie had 19 points to start the second quarter after hitting his Dallas (and season) high of 36 the last time Doncic rested, this time from a sore foot. The 114-113 win over Sacramento on March 5 was Dinwiddie’s sixth game and first start since coming from Washington in a trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Wizards.

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The Mavericks defeated the Rockets for the first time in consecutive seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12 (4-0). Those were Dallas’ last two seasons as a player for first-year coach Jason Kidd, who was celebrating his 49th birthday.

The Rockets led 53-52 at halftime before being surpassed 58-38 after the break.

Dorian Finney-Smith’s first 3-pointer gave the Mavericks their first double-digit lead at 77-66 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. Finney-Smith scored 14 points.

Dallas started the fourth quarter on a 13-3 run and secured their first 20-point lead.

Rockets: F Anthony Lamb has signed a two-way contract but will remain with Rio Grande Valley in the G-League for now. Lamb played 24 games for the Rockets last season. … The Rockets lost all four games to Dallas by double digits. … Jae’Sean Tate scored 13 points.

Mavericks: F Davis Bertans missed his second straight game with right knee pain. … The Mavericks have won four straight games in the Houston series for the first time since their best streak of nine straight wins from 2010-13.

Rockets: The first of back-to-back games on back-to-back nights in Portland on Friday. A win for the Trail Blazers will give them their fourth consecutive season streak.

Mavericks: In Minnesota on Friday, four nights after the Mavericks clinched a 110-108 win over the Timberwolves in Dallas. The Mavericks can win the season series with one win.

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