Monta Ellis, right, for the Mavericks.
Monta Ellis had 22 points and the Dallas Mavericks took control early in coasting to a 105-83 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.
Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter added 18 points apiece for the Mavericks, who led by as many as 32 while bouncing back from a home loss to San Antonio on Thursday.
Joakim Noah led Chicago with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but the Bulls had their modest two-game winning streak snapped. Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson each added 13.
The Mavericks took command with a 15-2 run to end the first quarter, turning a 17-15 deficit into a 30-19 lead. Carter, who entered just before the run started, had seven points during the spurt.
Dallas continued to pull away early in the second quarter, using a pair of four-point plays -- one each by Nowitzki and Jae Crowder -- to stretch the lead to 43-23 less than 4 minutes into the period. The Mavericks led by as many as 29 points at 61-32 before taking a 61-34 advantage into halftime.
The Bulls gave up plenty of points, but much of their first-half woes came on the offensive end of the court. They didn't manage to score 20 points in either quarter, going 14 for 36 (38.9 percent) from the field and committing 13 turnovers in the first half.
Carter led the Mavericks in the first half with 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including 3 of 4 on 3-pointers. Dallas was 7 for 13 from long range in the first half, compared with 1 of 6 for the Bulls.
The Mavs led 86-56 entering the fourth quarter and it appeared the final 12 minutes would be extended garbage time, but the Bulls made things a bit interesting by scoring the first 16 points of the period to pull to 86-72 on a three-point play by Noah with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
Carter finally ended the run when he scored on a layup with 6:16 left to make it 88-72. The Bulls created some tense moments on the Dallas bench, but they never got the deficit under 14 points.
Published at 11:07 PM CDT on Dec 28, 2013
Copyright Associated Press