Caron Butler's 3rd-quarter spurt leads Mavs to 6th win in row

DALLAS -- Caron Butler provided the third-quarter spark the Dallas Mavericks needed to turn a reasonably close game into a runaway.

Butler scored 13 of his 19 points during a decisive third-quarter run, Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Mavericks stretched their winning streak to six games with a 101-91 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.

Dallas used a 17-6 third-quarter spurt capped by 11 straight from Butler to expand a seven-point halftime edge to 77-59.

"I was in the flow, one of those zones you get in, and your teammates keep feeding you," Butler said.

Butler hit 6 of 7 shots in the third, all on jumpers, including a 3-pointer. Jason Kidd, who finished with 11 assists, set up four of Butler's buckets in the third.

"It's fun to watch," Nowitzki said of Butler's hot streak. "Kidd did a great job getting him the ball. When a guy is hot like that, you've got to milk it. He's one of the best mid-range jump shooters in the league."

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wasn't calling plays during the third-quarter stretch. All of Butler's points came in what the Mavs call a "flow" offense.

"When a guy gets going, our guys do a good job of finding him," Carlisle said. "We aren't doing a lot of play-calling right now."

Shawn Marion added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and J.J Barea scored 11 for Dallas.

Kevin Martin's 17 points and Luis Scola's 15 paced the Rockets, who've lost six of eight.

The Mavs carried an 83-71 lead into the final quarter, and were up by as many as 22 down the stretch.

Barea accounted for nine of Dallas' final 19 points in the second quarter. The Mavericks closed the half with a 10-1 run for a 52-45 lead at the break.

Houston, coming off Sunday night's road win over Oklahoma City, led after one, 26-25.

The Rockets remain short-handed, missing center Yao Ming (bone bruise, left ankle) and guard Aaron Brooks (sprained left ankle). There's no timetable for their return.

"I've stopped asking," coach Rick Adelman said. "It's just what the doctor sees as they progress...They both have to get on the floor before we'll know how long it will be."

Adelman said before the game that his team has kept playing hard despite the absence of two key starters, but the Rockets could not match the Mavericks' offensive firepower.

Houston went 29 for 81 from the field.

"There's a reason they're one of the top teams in the NBA," Houston's Shane Battier said. "To beat them here would have taken a heck of an effort. We tried to match them jump shot for jump shot and that's really not our strength."

Dallas went 39 for 79 from the field and owned a 47-39 rebounding edge.

The Mavericks might have been ripe for a letdown after Saturday night's emotional home win over Miami, but Dallas kept pushing until Houston's reserves closed with an 11-0 run to make the score more respectable.

"It seems like a team like that always catches you, and we didn't want that to happen to us," said Dallas center Tyson Chandler, who pulled down eight rebounds.

Game notes
The Rockets are in the midst of a strech of five games in seven nights. ... The Mavericks played for the third time in four nights. ... After the game, the Mavericks announced that rookie G Dominique Jones will join their D-League team in nearby Frisco for as many as three games. The expansion Texas Legends have their first home game on Tuesday night, and Jones hadn't played for the Mavs in five straight games before getting in for 7 minutes and 55 seconds of the fourth quarter on Monday night.