Early 31-3 run lets Mavs leave Kings far behind

DALLAS -- This turned out to be the equivalent of a night off for the Dallas Mavericks.

The Mavs rolled up 65 first-half points and went on to roll over the Sacramento Kings 119-96 before a sellout crowd of 19,737 Monday night at American Airlines Center.

It was the Mavericks' 17th consecutive victory in Dallas against the Kings and also was the second time this season they have won three consecutive games. The victory was much needed because the Mavericks now will take off on a three-game road trip starting Wednesday night against Jason Terry and the Boston Celtics.

Dallas is 11-10 on the season and above the .500 barrier for the first time since it was 7-6 following a win over the New York Knicks on Nov. 21.

"I think we're in a good place right now," guard Dahntay Jones said. "We've made a lot of adjustments, we have some great leadership with Derek Fisher, great guys coming off the bench, and we're doing a lot of positive things.

"Our confidence is at a high place."

The Mavericks led by as many as 28 points -- 61-33 -- late in the second quarter while barely cracking a sweat against a Kings squad which saw its three-game winning streak snapped.

Behind DeMarcus Cousins and Francisco Garcia (who each finished with 25 points), Sacramento (7-13) eased to within 77-66 late in the third period. But the Mavericks shifted to a higher gear again and built their lead back to 108-82 after a driving layup by Darren Collison with 5:10 remaining in the game.

Still, for all practical purposes, this game was over in the first half when the Mavericks used a 31-3 run bridging the first and second quarters. That staggered the Kings, who missed 12 consecutive shots and turned the ball over nine times during that eye-popping run by Dallas.

"The second quarter I think we started out with eight or 10 straight stops," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Some of it was them missing, but we were moving our feet and we were in position and we were scrambling.

"And so, that made a lot of good things happen for us offensively. In the second half, they had a couple of runs, but we were able to hold them off, and we needed everybody tonight."

O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman scored 12 and 10 points, respectively, in the first quarter when the Mavericks jumped to a 36-29 lead. Dallas then scored the first 12 points of the second period and just kept piling it on.

Mayo led a balanced Mavericks' attack with 19 points and seven rebounds, Kaman finished with 18 points, Collison had 15, and Dahntay Jones, Fisher and rookie Jae Crowder each added 11 points.

"O.J. and Kaman got us off to a good start offensively," Carlisle said. "And then the guys off the bench picked it up for us defensively, especially during that second-quarter run."

The Mavericks' bench outscored their counterparts 52-21. Dallas also committed just 10 turnovers, including none in the first period.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "This wasn't going to be the way you come in here and dominate a perfect game here tonight based on how you played the last three games.

"This is a good team, a quality team, and if they're making shots, they're going to be hard to beat."

The Mavericks scored 32 points off 20 Sacramento turnovers, and also shot 55.2 percent from the field.

"Dahntay is playing well," Carlisle said. "I thought a big key to the game was when [Marcus] Thornton [of the Kings] came in during the second quarter, Dahntay did a great job of just not letting him see the ball or see the basket."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760