Rondo returns when Mavs host Nets

( - The Dallas Mavericks return home Saturday and they'll also try to return to the winner's circle when the Brooklyn Nets visit American Airlines Center.

The Mavs had a three-game winning streak end Wednesday on the road versus the Atlanta Hawks. Dallas fell, 104-87, in a game that Rajon Rondo missed due to suspension. In the Mavs' win over Toronto on Tuesday, Rondo and head coach Rick Carlisle were caught in a heated exchange and Rondo sat the final 20-plus minutes. Then, the former All-Star point guard was suspended Wednesday.

"Everything is back to normal," Rondo said after Friday's practice. "We just had a little discussion on the court, and it led to a suspension. I think he had some frustration with me and vice versa, so communication is definitely key in this situation. You know, we've had a couple of talks since then, and we're going to move forward."

The Mavs led the Hawks by 12 after the first quarter, but were outscored by 29 the rest of the way.

Chandler Parsons missed his third straight game with an ankle injury and Tyson Chandler was out with a hip injury. Parsons is out of Saturday's game and Chandler is listed as questionable.

Newly acquired forward Amar'e Stoudemire (rest) was also out.

Monta Ellis scored 19 points, J.J. Barea had 13 with seven assists and Bernard James grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds in a rare start.

"We were moving it good and everybody was knocking down shots, but as the game went on we were having trouble making them," said Carlisle.

The Mavs will host the Pelicans on Monday.

The Nets mercifully end their eight-game road trip on Saturday and are 2-5 thus far. They opened with three straight losses, then consecutive victories, but the trip is winding down poorly.

Brooklyn lost to New Orleans on Wednesday, then fell to the Houston Rockets, 102-98, on Friday.

Deron Williams and Mason Plumlee each scored 15 points for the Nets. Markel Brown had 14, followed by 13 apiece from Alan Anderson and Joe Johnson. Brook Lopez registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Brooklyn held a 95-90 lead with 2:35 to play after Lopez's tip-in, but Terrence Jones followed that with a jumper and Patrick Beverley hit a 3- pointer to tie the game with 1:11 left.

After a miss from Brown, James Harden was fouled away from the play and made a free throw, then hit a jumper with 27 seconds left for a 98-95 lead. Williams countered with a layup at the other end before Jason Terry made two from the line with 14.7 left.

Johnson then made 1-of-2, but Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound and Jones sealed the victory with a pair of free throws.

"I thought Markel (Brown) did an outstanding job on Harden throughout the game," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said of the rookie. "We just didn't close it out."

The Nets return to Brooklyn for five games, starting Monday versus the Golden State Warriors.

The Mavs beat the Nets by eight in overtime Jan. 5 in Brooklyn to snap a three-game series losing streak. The Nets have won three straight in Big D.