DALLAS (AP) — Vince Carter scored 26 points to pass Larry Bird on the NBA’s career scoring list, and the Dallas Mavericks headed into the All-Star break with a 123-100 victory against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
Carter scored 17 of Dallas’ last 21 points in the third quarter to help turn aside a Sacramento rally. He made five of seven 3-pointers in the quarter and ended the night with 21,796 career points for 29th on the all-time list. Bird had 21,791.
Dirk Nowitzki finished with 17 points, including a 3-pointer to put Dallas ahead 100-79 early in the fourth quarter.
Tyreke Evans scored 23 for the Kings, who lost their 18th straight regular season game in Dallas dating back almost 10 years.
Carter was 6 of 9 from beyond the arc, and the Mavericks made six straight from long range spanning the third and fourth quarters. Dallas finished 13 of 34 from 3-point range.
The Mavericks were up 18 early in the third quarter before Sacramento went on a 17-6 run to get within seven. Nine of the points came on free throws, and DeMarcus Cousins had a pair of baskets early in the run.
The Mavericks, who rallied from 17 down for an overtime win in Sacramento last month, didn’t let the Kings do the same thing on their home court, thanks to Carter.
The 14-year veteran, who still flashes signs of his ‘‘Vinsanity’’ days, hit consecutive 3-pointers to end Sacramento’s surge and start the Mavericks on a 19-11 run over the final five minutes of the third quarter for a 92-77 lead.
The Kings, playing their fourth game in five nights before the All-Star break, didn’t get closer than 17 in the fourth quarter.
Cousins, who had 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, stayed out of trouble for Sacramento after his previous two meetings with Dallas were marred by incidents. He was suspended for a game in December for hitting O.J. Mayo in the groin area during a game in Dallas, and was ejected for a flagrant foul after elbowing Carter last month in Sacramento. The foul helped the Mavericks clinch the overtime win.
Cousins, who insisted the contact was incidental both times, exchanged handshakes and hugs with Mayo and Carter after the game.
Neither team led by more than six before the Mavericks went on an 18-4 run for a 57-40 lead late in the first half. Darren Collison, who finished with 18 points, had eight, including a three-point play when he took a feed from Shawn Marion for a layup after Marion jumped over diminutive Sacramento guard Isaiah Thomas to catch an entry pass from Nowitzki.
The Dallas spurt included the first points from Mayo, whose dunk on an assist from Collison ended an 0-for-4 shooting start for the Mavericks’ leading scorer.
It was an efficient first half for the Mavericks, who had 15 assists and just two turnovers while shooting 49 percent and taking a 59-44 lead.
The Kings, who were playing their fourth game in five nights before the All-Star break, shot 38 percent in the first half and were 1 of 7 from the field with three turnovers during the run that gave Dallas a comfortable lead.
NOTES: Mavericks C Chris Kaman missed his eighth straight game with a concussion sustained in practice Jan. 28. He has passed the league-mandated concussion test but is still experiencing headaches. ... Kings G Marcus Thornton missed the game with a bruised right hand. He sustained the injury against Memphis. ... Sacramento was the first team to score 100 points at Memphis in Tuesday’s 108-101 loss to the Grizzlies. ... Eight different Mavericks scored in a 30-point first quarter. Nowitzki and Marion led with six apiece. ... Kings G Isaiah Thomas, who is headed to Houston for the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend, extended his free throw streak to 35 over seven games. He was 3 of 3.