Sport Doncic, Hardaway Jr. lead Mavs to 137-123 rout of Rockets
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HOUSTON (AP) -- Luka Doncic scored 41 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added a season-high 31 and the Dallas Mavericks never trailed in a 137-123 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday.
The Mavericks scored 45 points in the first quarter and were up 78-60 at halftime. Hardaway had 19 in the half, Doncic 17 and Kristaps Porzingis 15.
The Mavericks has won five straight, scoring at least 137 in the last three. Houston has lost three straight after winning eight in a row.
The Mavericks got a dunk from Dwight Powell to push the lead to 11 early in the fourth quarter. Houston used a 6-0 run after that shot to get to 110-105 with 9 minutes to go.
Doncic ended the run with a jump shot, but Russell Westbrook added a basket seconds later to cut it to five again.
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Dallas was still up by 5 later in the quarter before scoring the next five points, with a dunk from Hardaway, to make it 119-109 midway through period, and Houston didn't get close again.
James Harden had 32 points for Houston but was just 2 of 15 on 3-pointers in a game where the Rockets made 10 of 44 3-point attempts.
The Mavericks had extended the lead to 16 later in the fourth when Doncic scored six points in a row, capped by a 3-pointer to make it 132-113 with about 3 1/2 minutes to go.
Dallas led by 20 in the third quarter before Houston scored the next seven points, with a 3-pointer from P.J. Tucker, to get within 89-76 with about seven minutes left in the third.
The Mavericks were up by 16 later in the third after two free throws by Dorian Finney-Smith before Tucker made consecutive baskets to cut the lead to 103-91.
Harden added two free throws, but Hardaway made a jump shot seconds later to make it 105-93.
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Donic’s doubters were always going to be wrong.Last year, I wrote about all the skills that made Doncic special and put in context how much more impressive his EuroLeague Rising Star and MVP awards were than previous European stars. He’d been a professional athlete since he was 16 years old, and a standout since he was 17.
Westbrook made a basket to wrap up the third quarter and cut the lead to 10 entering the fourth.
Mavericks: Seth Curry was back after sitting out the last game because of an illness. ... Porzingis finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds. ... Doncic had 10 assists and six rebounds. ... Doncic and Hardaway made five 3-pointers each.
Rockets: House returned after missing the last game with a sore left shoulder. ... Clint Capela had 21 points and 22 rebounds. ... Westbrook scored 27 points with six assists and five rebounds.
Mavericks: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
Rockets: Host Miami on Wednesday night.
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