SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Monta Ellis scored eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Mavericks kept their playoff position with their third straight win, a 93-91 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.
The Mavericks won for the fourth time in five games to maintain seventh place in the Western Conference. It was Dallas’ fifth straight road win, which concludes its four-game road trip Tuesday in Utah.
Rudy Gay had 32 points and tied a career high with eight assists for the Kings, DeMarcus Cousins added 28 points and 10 rebounds, and rookie point guard Ray McCallum had eight points and nine rebounds.
The Kings played their sixth straight game without starting point guard Isaiah Thomas (right quadriceps contusion), who is averaging 20.7 points and 6.4 assists per game.
Vince Carter scored 17 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting for Dallas. Jose Calderon hit four 3-pointers and added 14 points for the Mavericks, who made 13 threes.
Nowitzki, who shot 64 percent and averaged 28.7 points in his previous three games, missed eight of his first 10 shots. Following a timeout early in the third quarter, Nowitzki hit a 19-footer and soon after made a 3-pointer.
The Kings fouled Ellis intentionally and he made two free throws to put Dallas in front 92-87 with 24 seconds left. McCallum’s layup and two free throws by Gay pulled the Kings to within one point, but Nowitzki hit one of two foul shots and Cousins was short on a baseline jumper in the closing seconds that would have sent the game to overtime.
Ellis made a 3 at the 3:04 mark of the fourth quarter and converted a three-point play to give the Mavericks a 90-84 lead with 1:51 left. The teams swapped misses before Gay’s three-point play pulled the Kings within three points with 26 seconds left.
Cousins made a driving shot in traffic to put Sacramento ahead 77-75 with 6:51 to go in the fourth. Consecutive 3s by Carter and another by Shawn Marion put Dallas ahead 84-79 with 4:20 remaining in the game.
Trailing for much of the third quarter, Ellis had three transition baskets and Calderon made a 3 to help Dallas outscore the Kings 11-4 in the final 3:15 to take a 68-65 lead into the fourth.
NOTES: Cousins had 14 of his 16 first-half points in the first quarter. The Kings led 48-45 at the half. … Dallas shot 29 percent in the second quarter and was outscored 24-16. … Ex-King Peja Stojakovic, a three-time All-Star in Sacramento, sat courtside next to Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. … Derrick Williams scored 31 points in an earlier home wins against the Mavericks, but had only five in the rematch.