Mavs eke out big win in Sacramento
Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Monta Ellis poured in 23 points to keep the Dallas Mavericks' playoff hopes alive with a 93-91 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.
Vince Carter scored 17 points, while Dirk Nowitzki and Jose Calderon netted 15 and 14 points, respectively for the Mavericks, who have won three straight. Dallas is currently the seventh-seed in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of the Phoenix Suns and 1 1/2 ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies.
"It's going to be tough these last few games, but we just have to stay together, ride the course and get as many wins as we can," Ellis said.
Carter surpassed Elgin Baylor for sole possession of 26th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list and also became the seventh player in NBA history with at least 1,800 3-pointers. Carter now has 23,152 points and 1,803 treys for his career.
Rudy Gay tallied 32 points, eight assists and six rebounds and DeMarcus Cousins totaled 28 points with 10 rebounds for the Kings, who have dropped two straight.
"For us to be competitive, we have to come out and play like that every day," Gay said of himself and Cousins.
Trailing by two with under seven minutes left to play in the fourth, Dallas hit four consecutive 3-pointers, the first two coming from Carter, to take an 87-82 lead. Ellis converted a 3-point play with 1:51 left to give the Mavs a six-point lead.
Gay, however, countered with a 3-point play of his own before Ellis nailed a pair from the charity stripe to make the score 92-87 with 24.6 seconds remaining. Ray McCallum's layup with 18.3 to play pulled the Kings within three.
Sacramento then sent Shawn Marion to the line and he missed both attempts, preceding a pair of makes by Gay to bring the Kings within one. Nowitzki then split a pair from the line with 7.7 ticks to go to account for the final margin. Cousins missed a turnaround jumper from 16-feet that would have tied the game at the buzzer.
Earlier, The first quarter featured 10 lead changes and two ties, with neither team leading by more than six. Dallas held a 29-24 at the end of one.
Dallas held the largest lead of the second quarter two minutes into the period, leading by five. The Kings were able to pull ahead after they scored the last six and Dallas missed its final six shots of the half. Sacramento held the Mavericks to 16 points in the quarter and brought a 48-45 lead into the break.
The Kings scored the first six to start the second half, however, Dallas countered with a 12-2 run to momentarily take a 57-56 lead. After five points from Sacramento, the Mavericks closed out the third with an 11-4 run and carried a 68-65 lead into the fourth.
Dallas has won five straight on the road for the first time since the 2010-11 season ... The Kings have dropped 18 of 20 against the Mavericks ... Dallas moved to 28-4 when holding opponents under 100 points this season.
04/07 00:14:50 ET