DALLAS (AP) — Rajon Rondo hoped for cheers but probably knew better going into his first game in Dallas since an ugly split with the Mavericks last season.
The Sacramento guard heard plenty of boos — almost every time he touched the ball — until the fourth quarter, when some in the crowd headed home with the Kings up by double digits on their way to ending a 22-game regular-season losing streak on Rondo’s old home floor.
Rondo had 18 points and 12 assists, DeMarcus Cousins also had a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with a 104-101 victory Thursday night.
That shorter skid was the one Rondo wanted to talk about, perhaps just another way to needle the franchise that banished him during a first-round playoff loss to Houston last April after he clashed several times with coach Rick Carlisle following a midseason trade.
“We’ve lost four in a row, playing against another tough team in the West,” Rondo said after just the fifth win in 17 games for Sacramento. “They’ve been playing well at home as of late so it was a good win for my team.”
Chandler Parsons scored 28 to lead the Mavericks, who had a three-game winning streak snapped in the finale of a six-game homestand, their longest of the season.
Deron Williams hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in double-overtime of a January win against Sacramento that kept alive the longest home winning streak in Dallas franchise history. Rondo sat out that night with back spasms, and the Kings squandered a big lead late in the game.
With Rondo on the floor this time, the Kings kept a safe distance until they started missing free throws in the final seconds and almost let Dallas erase a 14-point deficit in the final 5 minutes.
But the Mavericks never got a chance to tie, even after Marco Belinelli missed two free throws with a 102-99 lead and 10 seconds left. Parsons and Wesley Matthews lost the ball while both were going for the rebound, and Darren Collison ended up with possession, with several players sprawled on the floor chasing the loose ball.
Collison made both free throws after Williams fouled him with 4.2 seconds left.
“It’s disappointing, but we didn’t deserve it,” Carlisle said. “We didn’t play well enough.”
Rondo repeatedly got to the rim for layups to help direct Sacramento’s first regular-season win in Dallas since Feb. 27, 2003. Dribbling out the final seconds of the first half while the crowd booed, Rondo easily beat Williams to the basket for a 50-45 halftime lead.
“We didn’t do a good job today keeping him out of the paint,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “Those pick-and-rolls, he’s really smart with it. You’ve got to somehow find a way to not let him get seven, eight layups in a game. That’s too many.”
Belinelli had a pair of 3s in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points. Collison, another former Dallas point guard, scored 14.
Nowitzki had 16 points but missed all five of his 3-pointers as the Mavericks went 7 of 29 (24 percent) from beyond the arc and ended a three-game streak of shooting at least 50 percent.
PAYBACK FOR THE KINGS
Sacramento blew a seven-point lead in the final 1:20 of the second overtime during its previous Dallas visit before Williams’ winning 3. “The last time we played here we gave them a Christmas present, and we didn’t want to do that again,” Kings coach George Karl said. “I don’t know if it was Rondo and/or what happened here the last time we played here.”
The Mavericks missed a chance at a 5-1 homestand with four straight wins over teams with losing records. They will soon be on a nine-game stretch against teams currently with winning records. “This is a team that we should beat, that we’re playing for something much bigger and more than they are,” Parsons said. “This is the type of loss that kind of bites you in the butt that you wish you could have back in a couple of weeks.”
Kings: Sacramento did have a playoff victory in Dallas since its last regular-season win. It came on April 26, 2004, during a five-game series win in the first round. ... Ben McLemore was 2 of 7 from 3-point range and had 10 points as the Kings shot 28 percent (7 of 25) from 3.
Mavericks: The 22-game home winning streak was the second-longest active streak in the NBA behind San Antonio at home over Golden State (32 games). ... Williams had 15 points but was 6 of 17 from the field. ... David Lee had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Kings: At San Antonio on Saturday.
Mavericks: At Denver on Sunday.