SACRAMENTO, California — Although still not in total sync as new teammates, Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis are making a difference as a backcourt for the Dallas Mavericks.
Ellis scored six of his 28 points in overtime and added 10 assists, Rondo scored 21 points and hit a huge 3-pointer in OT, and the Mavericks beat the Sacramento Kings 108-104 on Tuesday night.
Rondo, who came to Dallas in a mid-December trade with Boston, erased a one-point deficit with a 3-pointer, giving Dallas the lead for good at 104-102 with 1:19 remaining. Ellis made four free throws from there to close it out.
"Rondo's 3 was obviously a big one, but I thought he made some big passes, too," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "He was real aggressive and played good defense on the ball."
The Mavericks rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to avoid a third straight loss. Dallas was coming off two humbling losses to Detroit (118-105) and the Clippers (120-100).
"When you're down 10 points with 4:11 to play, you virtually have to pitch a shutout to win the game or even get it to OT," Carlisle said. "Our guys did that. It's an important game, you don't want to lose two in a row in the Western Conference. We didn't want a third one to happen."
DeMarcus Cousins, who fouled out late in the fourth quarter, had 32 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, but also committed nine turnovers for the Kings. Darren Collison had 18 points and seven rebounds.
Sacramento lost Rudy Gay, its second-leading scorer, late in the first quarter with a left knee strain. Gay, who is averaging nearly 21 points a game, had four points in 10 minutes.
Minus Cousins and Gay, the Kings were limited offensively in overtime when they missed all seven shots and were outscored 9-5.
"With (Cousins) out in overtime, we were able to set up our defense," Mavs center Tyson Chandler said. "He's a load, one of the premier players in the league."
Chandler had 16 points and 17 rebounds, Dirk Nowitzki scored 15 points and Chandler Parsons finished with 13 for Dallas, which rallied from a 24-point deficit to beat the Kings on Nov. 11.
"There were some unfortunate things that happened toward the end of the game in regulation," Collison said. "But they hit some tough shots down the stretch, Dirk with a 3, Rondo with a 3, and it put us back a step. We got a little bit stagnant."
With the game tied at 92, Cousins committed an offensive foul, his sixth, and slowly walked to the Kings bench with 21 seconds left as the Mavericks called timeout. Ellis missed a long jumper with a second left to send the game into overtime.
Dallas hasn't dropped three consecutive games since last March.
Dallas: In a terrible shooting slump (7 of 37) the previous four games, Rondo got going following a scoreless first quarter. He had made 6 of 8 shots in the second and had 12 points. He finished 10 of 16 and added seven assists, five rebounds and four steals.
Sacramento: This was the fourth of six straight home games for the Kings, who are 10-12 at Sleep Train Arena. The homestand concludes with consecutive games Friday (Miami) and Saturday (Clippers). ... Hall of Fame baseball player Joe Morgan sat in a courtside seat next to Chris Mullin in the second half.
Mavericks: Visit Denver on Wednesday.
Kings: Host Miami on Friday.
All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.