Irving scores 48, Exum forces OT with buzzer-beating 3 as Mavs rally past Rockets 147-136

DALLAS, TEXAS - APRIL 07: Dante Exum #0 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrates with Luka Doncic #77 after making a buzzer beater 3-pt basket to tie the game in the fourth quarter and force overtime against the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Center

Kyrie Irving scored a season-high 48 points, Dante Exum forced overtime with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and the Dallas Mavericks rallied from 22 points down for a 147-136 victory over the Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Luka Doncic had 37 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds as the Mavericks took another step toward the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Dillon Brooks scored a season-high 29 points, and Fred VanVleet had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Rockets, who were eliminated from postseason contention after not trailing until the final three minutes of regulation. 

It was a fifth consecutive loss for Houston following an 11-game winning streak that is tied for the longest in the NBA this season. 

With Houston leading by three with 8.3 seconds to go in regulation, Jabari Smith Jr. missed two free throws. Dallas was out of timeouts, and Exum scrambled up the court and passed to Doncic. The Dallas superstar dribbled toward midcourt and faked a shot before passing to Exum, whose 3 over Smith beat the buzzer.

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Irving, who scored 25 points in fourth quarter and overtime, put Dallas ahead for good in the extra period at 133-131 with two free throws.

P.J. Washington, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds, finished off the Rockets with consecutive corner 3s for a nine-point lead with 33 seconds to go. Exum had 14 points and nine rebounds.

The Rockets, already missing Alperen Sengun because of an ankle injury, played most of the game without Amen Thompson. The rookie starter was ejected in the first quarter when he shoved Maxi Kleber in the neck with a forearm and was given a flagrant 2 foul.


Rockets: The home finale is Tuesday against Orlando.

Mavericks: At Charlotte on Tuesday to start a road back-to-back.