LOS ANGELES (dpa) – Rajon Rondo had six points, seven rebounds and nine assists in his Dallas debut Saturday and the host Mavericks got a huge game from Monta Ellis to rally for a 99-93 victory over the shorthanded San Antonio Spurs.
Ellis scored 11 of his season-high 38 points in the final four minutes for the Mavericks, who acquired Rondo on Thursday in a five-player deal with the Boston Celtics. A flashy passer, Rondo was a four-time All-Star and won a championship in eight-plus seasons in Boston and currently leads the NBA in assists.
Rondo started and played 34 minutes. He made just 3-of-11 shots and added two steals as he began getting acclimated with his new teammates and coaching staff.
This week, San Antonio became the first team in the shot clock era to play consecutive triple-overtime games, losing to Memphis on Wednesday and Portland on Friday. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich chose to leave home 38-year-old Tim Duncan and 37-year-old Manu Ginobili.
In addition, Tony Parker remained sidelined with a hamstring strain, Kawhi Leonard was out again with a hand injury and Popovich rested starters Tiago Splitter and Danny Green.
Marco Belinelli scored 21 points for the defending champion Spurs, who have lost four in a row for the first time since dropping six straight from March 23-April 1, 2011.
Atlanta Hawks 104, Houston Rockets 97: Kyle Korver scored 22 points and sparked a late burst for the visiting Hawks, who have won three in a row and 12 of 13. Dwight Howard collected 19 points and 11 rebounds and James Harden added 18 and a career-high 14 assists for the Rockets.
In other games, the visiting Portland Trail Blazers pounded the New Orleans Pelicans, 114-88; the host Denver Nuggets edged the Indiana Pacers, 76-73; the visiting Phoenix Suns defeated the New York Knicks, 99-90; the host Charlotte Hornets routed the Utah Jazz, 104-86; and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied past the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, 106-102.