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Mavericks 93, Kings 91

The SportsXchange

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Guard Monta Ellis scored 23 points and made two 3-pointers in the final 3 1/2 minutes, one the old-fashioned way, as the Dallas Mavericks held off the Sacramento Kings 93-91 at Sleep Train Arena on Sunday to extend their longest road winning streak in three seasons.

Ellis canned a 3-pointer from behind the arc to give Dallas an 87-82 lead with 3:04 left, then converted a layup while being fouled and made the free throw for a 90-84 lead. That gave the Mavericks the lift they needed to win their fifth straight on the road.

Ellis also made two free throws with 24.6 seconds left for a 92-87 lead. Kings guard Ray McCallum responded with a layup, and forward Rudy Gay made two free throws to make a 92-91 contest with eight seconds remaining. But after Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki missed one of two free throws with seven seconds left Kings center DeMarcus Cousins missed a baseline jumper at the final horn.

The victory also kept Dallas (47-31) in seventh place in the NBA's Western Conference standings, ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns, each of whom played later Sunday. The Mavericks moved one game behind sixth-place Golden State, pending the Warriors' result later Sunday against the Utah Jazz.

Gay scored a game-high 32 points for the Kings (27-50), his third effort of at least 30 points in his past five games.

Cousins finished 28 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento, which needs to win one of its remaining five games to equal last season's total. Cousins has recorded double-doubles in four straight games and has 49 this season, trailing only Minnesota forward Kevin Love (60) and Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (52).

Forward Vince Carter scored 17 points for the Mavericks, while Nowitzki had 15 and guard Jose Calderon added 14.

Nowitzki, who moved into the 11th on the NBA's all-time scoring list on Friday, is now averaging 25.0 points in Dallas' past four games. But his recent hot shooting cooled off; Nowitzki canned just 5 of 17 shots from the field, after he converted 34 of 53 (64.2 percent) in his previous three. Dallas finished the game shooting just 40 percent from the field but made 13 3-pointers.

The Mavericks also kept up their mastery of the Kings. Dallas is 26-4 against Sacramento since April 2006 and 18-2 in their past 20. Sacramento won one of the four meetings between the two teams this season and lost the three games by a combined nine points.

NOTES: G Isaiah Thomas sat out his seventh straight game for Sacramento with a bruised quadriceps muscle. Thomas played in every one of the Kings' first 70 contests, averaging 20.7 points and 6.4 assists in 35 minutes per game. The team is undecided on whether he will sit out the rest of the season. ... Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki, who passed F Dominique Wilkins for 11th on the scoring list Friday, next can pass G Oscar Robertson for 10th place. Nowitzki has passed G Reggie Miller, F Kevin Garnett, F Alex English, G John Havlicek and Wilkins on the scoring list this season. ... Kings C DeMarcus Cousins needed 70 points in final six games to pass Brad Miller for ninth on Sacramento's all-time scoring list and 129 points to pass Vlade Divac for eighth. ... The Mavericks will finish with a winning record on the road for the ninth time in the franchise's 34-year history. All of them have come during Nowitzki's 16-year career. ... Former Kings G Peja Stojakovic was in attendance and received a standing ovation from the Sleep Train Arena crowd.
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