Doncic scores 39, Mavs rally for 111-106 over Houston

Jan 2, 2023, 5:44 AM | Updated: 8:50 pm
Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) grabs in pass as Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. defends durin...

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) grabs in pass as Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. Dallas won 111-106. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

              Dallas Mavericks' Reggie Bullock (25) goes up for a shot as Houston Rockets' Tari Eason (17) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Dallas Mavericks' Spencer Dinwiddie (26) grabs the ball in front of Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith Jr. (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) is fouled by Houston Rockets' Garrison Mathews (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) brings the ball up the court as Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith Jr. defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) knocks the ball away from Houston Rockets' Alperen Sengun during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. Dallas won 111-106. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Dallas Mavericks' Spencer Dinwiddie reacts after making a basket during the closing seconds against the Houston Rockets in the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. Dallas won 111-106. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
            
              Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic (77) grabs in pass as Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, in Houston. Dallas won 111-106. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Luka Doncic had 39 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as Dallas rallied from an 18-point second half deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 111-106 on Monday night for the Mavericks’ seventh straight win.

Doncic scored 29 of his points in the second half to lead the comeback. He finished 10 of 26 from the field, including 1 of 9 on 3-pointers and hit 18 of 22 from the free throw line.

“I was not worried in the first half, I just needed to be more aggressive,” Doncic said. “That’s what I did in the second half. In the first half, I was passive, and it didn’t work well for us.”

Doncic has scored at least 32 points in each of the last six games, including three 50-point games during that span.

“Winning is always great,” Doncic said. “The energy in the locker room is amazing, so to win seven in a row is pretty good, but we want more. I think today we played very bad, but great teams come back and win games.”

Christian Wood added 21 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points for Dallas, which has their longest winning streak since the 2010-11 season.

“To win seven (straight) in this league, it’s not easy to win in this league, it’s easy to lose in this league, but it’s hard to win,” said Dallas coach Jason Kidd, who was a player on the 2010-11 team.

The Mavericks shot 42%, including 13 of 43 on 3-pointers.

Kevin Porter Jr. had 25 points, Jalen Green added 20 points and Eric Gordon scored 19 points for the Rockets, who lost their fourth straight and seventh straight at home.

“We were getting our shots,” Porter said. “There were a couple missed plays, but that what happens. It’s been a long game. It’s the fourth quarter, trying to execute, trying to get shots in, and it just didn’t turn our way.”

Alperen Sengun, who missed Friday’s loss against the Knicks with lower back pain, scored 16 points. Houston shot 46%.

“I thought we did a good job on him the whole game,” Houston coach Stephen Silas said of the defense against Doncic. “The issue was the fouls. I don’t have enough money to get fined, so I will stop there.”

Trailing 100-93 midway through the fourth, Dallas answered with 14-4 run to take a three-point lead on a jumper by Hardaway with 2:55 remaining.

Houston cut the lead to one on a layup by Porter with two minutes left, but after trading missed shots, Spencer Dinwiddie hit a jumper with 10 seconds left to up the lead to 109-106. Sengun missed two free throws, and Doncic grabbed the rebound. Doncic was fouled and made two free throws to ice the game.

After a sluggish first half in which he scored 10 points on 3 of 12 shooting, Doncic heated up in the third quarter, scoring 19 points as the Mavs cut an 18-point Houston lead down to 87-83 at the end of the quarter on a three-point play by Doncic.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Dinwiddie scored 11 points. … The Mavs turned 10 Houston turnovers into 14 points. … Josh Green (right elbow sprain) and Dorian Finney-Smith (right adductor strain) remained out of the lineup.

Rockets: Jae’Sean Tate (right ankle) is “getting closer”, Silas said, adding that he would like to see Tate go through a five-on-five practice before he returns. … Jabari Smith Jr. had 11 points.

ROCKETS REBUILD

Following postgame comments from Gordon on Friday that he’s seen no improvement from the Rockets since the beginning of the season, Silas said he and Gordon had talked on Monday and knew where each other stood.

“Rebuilding is hard,” Silas said. “It’s hard on everybody. … He was frustrated. I don’t necessarily agree with how he went about it, but I do understand his frustration.”

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Host the Celtics on Thursday.

Rockets: Travel to New Orleans on Wednesday.

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Doncic scores 39, Mavs rally for 111-106 over Houston