Hawks hold off Mavericks for fourth straight win
DALLAS (AP) Dennis Schroder wanted to do well Monday night when he played against his boyhood idols.
He did just that, scoring a career-high 22 points as his Atlanta Hawks beat the Dallas Mavericks, with Dirk Nowitzki and Rajon Rondo, 105-102.
''It's a great thing to play and compete against Rondo. He was my favorite player,'' Schroder said. ''And Dirk Nowitzki, another German basketball player. I was ready to play.''
Nowitzki is in his 17th NBA season, and Rondo his ninth. The German-born Schroder, 21, was making only the third start in his second season.
Atlanta led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter. The Mavericks pulled to 96-88 before second-year player Schroder hit a jump shot and two free throws for a 12-point lead with 1:08 to play.
''I thought Dennis was aggressive on both ends,'' Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''He was good defensively. He made a couple big shots and found ways to get to the basket.''
Schroder shot 9 of 15 from the field and added six assists, three rebounds and a steal.
The Hawks (20-7) won all three games on their road trip. The Southeast Division leaders have a four-game winning streak overall, and have won 13 of their last 14.
All five Atlanta starters scored in double figures. Kyle Korver scored 18, Al Horford had 17, DeMarre Carroll put in 15 and Paul Millsap added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 18 points, 11 in a fourth quarter when they outscored the Hawks 39-23. Nowitzki scored 16, Charlie Villanueva 14, Rondo 13, Devin Harris 11 and Richard Jefferson 10.
Rondo added 11 assists.
Schroder scored five points in a 12-2 run that took Atlanta from trailing 6-4 to a 16-8 lead with 4:25 to play in the first quarter. He finished the period with 10 points, helping the Hawks to a 25-18 lead.
In the second quarter, Horford scored eight points as Atlanta extended the lead to 52-38 at halftime.
Atlanta was ahead 82-63 as the third quarter ended.
''I thought our bench guys in the second half got us going,'' Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
The bench had reduced the deficit to 82-67 when the starters re-entered the game with 9:38 remaining.
''We did some good things when the starters went back in, but then you had a few mistakes,'' Carlisle said. ''A couple of unfortunate misses, some stuff with the officials. We just couldn't get over the hump.''
Two 3-pointers by Villanueva and one by Jefferson brought Dallas within three points as the game ended.
Hawks: Schroder was making his third straight start replacing PG Jeff Teague (strained left hamstring). Schroder's previous high-scoring game was 16 points at Miami Dec. 3. ... Korver missed a free throw for only the third time this season. His 7 for 8 put him at 59 for 62 this season. ... Even before the game, Carlisle called the Hawks the most underrated team in the NBA, and Budenholzer the most underrated coach.
Mavericks: For the second straight game, the Mavericks had their lowest-scoring first half. They had 42 points Saturday against San Antonio, and finished Monday's first half with 38. ... Dallas might have had 40 first-half points, but after stealing the ball, Ellis slammed a dunk off the rim in the final second.
DOUBLE, NO TROUBLE
Rondo's double-double was his 10th this season, and his first in two games for Dallas since being traded from the Celtics on Friday.
Millsaps' double-double was his sixth this season.
FOR THE OLD COUNTRY
Schroder will play for Germany in the 2015 European championship, when Nowitzki could be his teammate.
''I hope he's going to play but he don't know if he's going to play or not,'' Schroder said.
Hawks: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday.
Mavericks: At Phoenix on Tuesday.