Butler, Nowitzki Lead Mavericks Past Rockets
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DALLAS (AP) – Caron Butler scored 13 of his 19 points during a decisive third-quarter run, Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks stretched their winning streak to six games with a 101-91 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
Shawn Marion added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and J.J Barea scored 11 for Dallas.
Kevin Martin’s 17 points and Luis Scola’s 15 paced the Rockets, who’ve lost six of eight.
Dallas used a 17-6 third-quarter spurt capped by 11 straight from Butler to expand a seven-point halftime edge to 77-59.
The Mavs carried an 83-71 lead into the final quarter, and were up by as many as 22 down the stretch.
Barea accounted for nine of Dallas’ final 19 points in the second quarter. The Mavericks finished the half with a 10-1 run for a 52-45 lead at the break.
Houston, coming off Sunday night’s road win over Oklahoma City, led after one, 26-25.
The Rockets remain short-handed, missing center Yao Ming (bone bruise, left ankle) and guard Aaron Brooks (sprained left ankle). There’s no timetable for their return.
“I’ve stopped asking,” coach Rick Adelman said. “It’s just what the doctor sees as they progress…They both have to get on the floor before we’ll know how long it will be.”
Adelman said before the game that his team has kept playing hard despite the absence of two key starters, but the Rockets could not match the Mavericks’ offensive firepower.
Dallas went 39 for 79 from the field and owned a 47-39 rebounding edge.
Mark Cuban talks with The Fan’s Newy Scruggs following the win
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)