Monta Ellis equaled his season high with 38 points, including 11 during the final four minutes, to spark a late rally as the host Dallas Mavericks beat the depleted San Antonio Spurs, 99-93, Saturday in Rajon Rondo’s debut with the Mavericks.
Ellis broke a 91-91 tie with a basket from the right corner that sailed over the corner of the backboard to give Dallas the lead for good.
Rondo, the four-time All-Star who played his first eight-plus seasons with the Boston Celtics, finished with six points on three-for-11 shooting. He had nine assists and seven rebounds. Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich used only eight players after his team lost triple-overtime games on Wednesday and Friday. Veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, who logged 90 and 71 minutes, respectively, in those two games, were left home. Danny Green and Tiago Splitter suited up but didn’t play.
Phoenix 99, at New York 90: Eric Bledsoe had 25 points and 10 rebounds and the Suns won on the road. It was the seventh consecutive home loss for the Knicks, who haven’t won at Madison Square Garden since beating Philadelphia on Nov. 22. The Knicks took a 68-67 lead into the final quarter. “I can just see it out there on the court, that we don’t believe in ourselves to be able to go down the stretch and win basketball games,” Carmelo Anthony said.
Atlanta 104, at Houston 97: Kyle Korver scored 22 points, including seven points in the final minutes, to help lift the Hawks. The game was tied with three minutes left before Atlanta used a 7-0 run to make it 97-90.
at Charlotte 104, Utah 86: The Hornets improved to 2-0 without injured Lance Stephenson in the lineup and ended a 10-game losing streak against the Jazz. Kemba Walker had a game-high 20 points, and Al Jefferson added 19 points and 10 rebounds as Charlotte beat Utah for the first time in six years.
Portland 114, at New Orleans 88: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Trail Blazers, who showed no sign of fatigue despite a triple-overtime victory over San Antonio the night before.
at Denver 76, Indiana 73: Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points off the bench to lift the Nuggets to a victory at home.
Milwaukee at Clippers, late