Sengun's big game helps Rockets rout Mavericks
HOUSTON (AP) — Alperen Sengun had 22 points and 15 rebounds and the Houston Rockets took advantage of the absence of injured Dallas stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to rout the Mavericks 122-96 on Friday night.
Doncic sat out because of a strained left quad, while Irving was out for a seventh straight game with a right heel contusion. It was the first time they’ve missed the same game this season.
Houston snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 14-12. Dallas fell to 16-12 with its third straight loss.
“We knew they were missing some players so I started aggressive and finished the game earlier so we could get ready for tomorrow’s game,” Sengun said.
“They complement each other well and have good versatility,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said about Sengun and Smith. “They’ve been together for a few years, and you can see some chemistry building there. They play off of each other well.”
Houston was in control from the start, leading by 38 in the third quarter. Sengun had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. Dallas struggled mightily from the field, making just 15 of 54 shots for a 27.8% clip, while going 3 of 24 from beyond the arc.
“When you can’t put the ball in the basket, you’ve got to get stops, and we just didn’t do that tonight,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “Being shorthanded puts things into perspective of how important Luka is to the team and how much he creates for everyone. If he can’t go tomorrow, we’ve got to find a way to create shots.”
Houston had a season-high 29 fast-break points.
The Rockets led 56-39 at halftime and 89-60 entering the fourth quarter.
Thirteen of 14 Rockets players scored in the game, while fan-favorite Boban Marjanovic did not play despite Toyota Center chants of his name.
Mavericks: Host San Antonio on Saturday night.
Rockets: At New Orleans on Saturday night.
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