Mavs Get 60th Victory, But Lose Nowitzki

Thursday, March 29th 2007, 8:08 am
By: News On 6

Coming off an unbeaten road trip and with their star player hurting, it would have been easy for the Dallas Mavericks to have a letdown against the lowly Milwaukee Bucks. Instead, Dallas continued its strong play and rallied to win its eighth straight game _ 60th of the season _ with a 105-103 victory over the Bucks on Wednesday night.

``To talk about 60 is pretty impressive, especially the way we started,'' coach Avery Johnson said. ``These types of games, we could easily lose, but they refuse to lose.''

It is the third time the Mavericks have won 60 games, all in the last five seasons. The top team in the Western Conference has 11 games left in the regular season, which started with four straight losses.

``We just wanted to keep it going,'' Devin Harris said. ``We had a great road trip, but there were a lot of hurdles tonight we had to overcome.''

Dallas had its first 6-0 road trip in franchise history and was poised to continue its winning streak until Dirk Nowitzki went down with an ankle injury in the first half.

After Nowitzki got hurt with 3:42 left in the second quarter, the Bucks went on a 14-4 run to take a 62-54 halftime lead.

The Bucks were only the third team to score at least 60 against Dallas in the first half. The other times were back-to-back losses to Golden State and Phoenix earlier this month before the Mavericks' current winning streak.

In other NBA games, it was: Utah 108, Minnesota 102; New Jersey 118, Indiana 94; San Antonio 92, New Orleans 88; New York 97, Indiana 93; Toronto 96, Miami 83; Boston 103, Orlando 96, in double-overtime; Washington 111, Philadelphia 108; Charlotte 101, Atlanta 87; Seattle 100, Denver 97; and Houston 92, Los Angeles Clippers 87.

Nowitzki returned only briefly after halftime before leaving for good. He was walking around after the game and described the injury as ``two bone spurs jamming together.'' He was to get treatment Thursday, when the team has a day off from practice.

``I tried to walk it off at halftime and tried to loosen it up but I couldn't go. There was no need for it to get worse so I had to take the rest of the night off,'' Nowitzki said. ``It hurt me to watch, but we made big shots down the stretch.''

Jazz 108, Timberwolves 102

At Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Mehmet Okur added 23 points and 12 boards to help Utah beat Minnesota and clinch the Northwest Division title.

Deron Williams, who had 22 points and 14 assists, and Derek Fisher combined to make seven of eight free throws in the last 25 seconds to secure the victory.

Kevin Garnett scored 25 points to lead Minnesota.

Nets 118, Pacers 94

Rookie Josh Boone scored a career-high 22 points to lead host New Jersey.

Jermaine O'Neal, the Pacers' leading scorer, sat out the game with sprains of the left ankle and knee. Indiana could not overcome his loss, although Troy Murphy, who started in O'Neal's spot, had 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Spurs 92, Hornets 88

Tim Duncan scored 31 points, including his first 3-pointer of the season, to help San Antonio beat visiting New Orleans.

Brent Barry hit four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs rally for their fifth straight victory.

Chris Paul scored 20 points to lead six Hornets in double figures.

Knicks 97, Cavaliers 93

Eddy Curry scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Stephon Marbury rattled in a clinching 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left, and host New York snapped a four-game losing streak.

LeBron James scored 24 points for the Cavaliers.

Raptors 96, Heat 83

Chris Bosh became Toronto's career leader in double-doubles when he had 13 points and 17 rebounds in a victory that moved the host Raptors ahead of Miami for third place in the Eastern Conference.

Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points for the Heat.

Celtics 105, Magic 96, 2OT

Paul Pierce scored 32 points, Al Jefferson added 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Boston held on for a double-overtime win.

Hedo Turkoglu and Grant Hill each had 20 points for visiting Orlando.

Wizards 111, 76ers 108

Caron Butler scored 21 points in his return from a knee injury, including two key free throws with 14 seconds left to help host Washington end a three-game losing streak.

DeShawn Stevenson added a season-high 28 points for the Wizards.

Andre Iguodala, who missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer, led the Sixers with 26 points.

Bobcats 101, Hawks 87

Gerald Wallace scored 31 points and host Charlotte beat Atlanta in a matchup of the two of the worst teams in the NBA.

Wallace hit 12 of 16 shots, 7 of 9 free throws and added nine rebounds to help the Bobcats snap a two-game losing streak and win their 27th game, one more than last season.

Josh Smith had 25 points and 15 rebounds for the Hawks.

SuperSonics 100, Nuggets 97

Rashard Lewis scored 33 points _ including 13 in the fourth quarter _ and Nick Collison added 16 points and 13 rebounds to help Seattle hand Denver its fourth loss in five games.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 28 as the Nuggets, who are 0-10 at home when scoring less than 100 points.

Rockets 92, Clippers 87

Tracy McGrady scored 27 points and Shane Battier made a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute for visiting Houston.

Yao Ming added 24 points and 15 rebounds during a foul-plagued 34 minutes as the Rockets beat the Clippers for the 14th time in their last 17 meetings.

Elton Brand had 24 points for the Clippers.