Ellis leads Mavericks over Spurs 99-93
DALLAS (AP) -- Monta Ellis equaled his season high with 38 points, including 11 during the final four minutes, to spark a late rally as the Dallas Mavericks beat the depleted San Antonio Spurs 99-93 Saturday in Rajon Rondo's debut with the Mavericks.
Ellis broke a 91-91 tie with a basket from the right corner that sailed over the corner of the backboard to give Dallas the lead for good.
Rondo, the four-time All-Star who played his first eight-plus seasons with the Boston Celtics, finished with six points on 3-for-11 shooting. He had nine assists and seven rebounds. Acquired in a multi-player trade Thursday, he went into the game leading the league averaging 10.8 assists.
Marco Belinelli led San Antonio with 21 points. Aron Baynes added a career-high 16 points.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich dressed 10 players and played only eight after his team played triple-overtime games on Wednesday and Friday. Veterans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, who logged 90 and 71 minutes, respectively, in those two games, were left home. Danny Green and Tiago Splitter dressed but didn't play.
The Spurs have lost four straight games for the first time since the 2012 Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rondo missed his only two field-goal attempts of the opening half and scored his first points as a Mavericks with 7:59 to play in the third quarter on goaltending by Boris Diaw.
The Spurs used a 12-point run starting in the final minute of the opening quarter to break a 21-21 tie and lead for the rest of the half. The Mavericks trailed 47-42 at intermission having scored their fewest first-half points of the season.
Dallas went into the game leading the league in field-goal shooting at 48.1 percent, but shot only 38.1 in the half. Nowitzki hit 1 of 8 from the floor.
The defending champions were already without Tony Parker, who has missed five straight games with a strained left hamstring, Kawhi Leonard, out three games with a torn ligament in his right hand, and Patty Mills, yet to play this season because of an injured right shoulder.
The Spurs went into game having won 10 consecutive regular-season games against the Mavericks, who took them to the full seven games in the first round of last season's playoffs.
Spurs: They have lost six of their last eight games . San Antonio hit all of its 26 free-throw attempts.
Mavericks: Rick Carlisle said he doesn't expect Raymond Felton to make his season debut by Christmas. Felton, among the players acquired from the New York Knicks last summer, is sidelined with a right-ankle sprain. Ricky Ledo, an occasional call-up from Dallas' D-League affiliate in suburban Frisco, made his first appearance of the season.
The Spurs will host the Los Angeles Clippers, the fifth consecutive game against teams that would currently qualify for the playoffs.
The Mavericks will host Atlanta on Monday night.