DALLAS (AP) – Jason Kidd scored 17 points in the third quarter and Rodrigue Beaubois lived up to high expectations for his season debut with 13 points and six assists, carrying the Dallas Mavericks to a 116-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
Dallas broke the game open with a 24-4 spurt late in the third quarter powered mostly by 3-pointers by Kidd, several of which Beaubois set up. The Mavs matched their biggest margin of victory and won for the 12th time in 13 games.
Jermaine Taylor scored a career-high 17 points, but Sacramento lost for the seventh time in eight games. The Kings were playing their second straight game without Tyreke Evans, their leading scorer at 18.3 points per game, because of a foot injury.
Kidd scored 20 points, making six 3-pointers and another long shot from just inside the arc. He didn’t even play the final quarter as the only question then was how much Dallas would win by. They led by as many as 26.
The Mavericks have had trouble holding big leads, so this was a bit of a breakthrough — but only a bit. They let a 13-point halftime lead fizzle into a tie over the first five minutes of the third quarter, only to pull away again.
Dallas had eight players in double figures, including five guys off the bench. Among the reserves, Brendan Haywood had a season-high 12 points and 10 rebounds, and J.J. Barea had 11 points and 10 assists.
Yet for the Mavericks, this game was all about the youngster beloved locally as “Roddy B.”
An energetic, athletic guard, he scored 16 points in 21 minutes in final game of last season’s playoffs and was hailed as the team’s budding star. Anticipation built all summer, then he broke his foot during a practice with the French national team before the world championships. He was expected to return the first month of the season, but a setback led to the long delay, which only added to the anticipation.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban joked before the game that Beaubois would come out wearing a Superman cape and enter to the Mighty Mouse theme. Instead, he was greeted by a pregame video clip from the movie “Rudy,” with his head superimposed and fans chanting “Rod-dy! Rod-dy!” He entered just over 2 minutes into the game, drawing a standing ovation.
Beaubois grabbed a loose ball near the foul line and turned it into a scooping layup. Soon after, he outjumped 7-foot teammate Tyson Chandler for a rebound and zoomed ahead of everyone else for a hardly contested layup.
Fans were still oohing and aahing when he threw a pass straight to a Sacramento player on Dallas’ next possession. He did it again on the next possession, only to bounce back with a steal and another breakaway layup, only this time he added some sizzle by smartly switching the ball to his left hand when a defender cut across to his right side reaching for the steal.
Before the game, coach Rick Carlisle said he was among those excited about Beaubois because “you don’t know what to expect.”
“He isn’t just a kid with natural ability,” Carlisle said. “He’s a special player and he’s learned about what it takes in terms of work to get there.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)