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Seattle at Dallas

Croshere unlikely star in win over Sonics with 34 points, seven boards

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki was off his game and Josh Howard was out for the birth of his first child, so Austin Croshere had to pick up the slack for the Dallas Mavericks.

Croshere had a career-high 34 points and seven rebounds as the Mavericks beat the Seattle SuperSonics 122-102 on Tuesday night, stretching their home winning streak to 14 games.

Dallas is two wins shy of the franchise record for consecutive home wins, set last season.

Croshere, who began the night averaging 2.9 points per game, played 24 minutes as a reserve in Howard's absence after scoring in double figures only twice in his first 21 games this season.

Acquired in an offseason trade with the Indiana Pacers, Croshere went 11-for-14 from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range, and finished tied for 12th in franchise history for bench points.

"With Josh not here, I had a chance to get in early," Croshere said. "I was just trying to stay ready for the opportunity to play. I got the chance and I played well."

Jason Terry's 19 points, Greg Buckner's season-best 17 and Devin Harris' 16 helped the Mavericks set a season high for points and beat the Sonics for the ninth straight time.

Ray Allen had 35 points, 19 in the first half, for Seattle, which tied a single-season club record with its 13th consecutive road defeat. Nick Collison and Earl Watson both had 15 points for the Sonics.

Croshere, who set a career-high for 3-pointers, had his previous career-high of 32 points for the Pacers in a game against the Mavericks on Feb. 5, 2002.

Howard is Dallas' second-leading scorer (19.4 points per game) and third-leading rebounder (7.2). Minus Howard, the Mavericks needed more minutes from Croshere, who didn't see any action the previous four games. Croshere had a total of 15 points in the first four games he played in January.

Croshere can't wait to meet and thank Howard's child for the playing time.

"I'm going to give the kid high-five," Croshere said with a laugh.

Nowitzki, who started the night averaging 25.3 points and 9.6 rebounds, finished with 15 points and six rebounds. Nowitzki was 3-for-12 from the field.

But Dallas got a season-high 63 points off the bench led by Croshere and Buckner.

"It was a great night for Cro," Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse said. "Everybody's been pulling for him. He's been very supportive of us. Josh was out and Dirk didn't have a great game, but it didn't matter. Cro was our MVP tonight."

Croshere capped a 13-4 run spanning the late third and early fourth quarters with a three-point play and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to give Dallas a 91-82 lead with 10:37 left.

Croshere added another 3 with 7:54 left to stretch the Mavericks' lead 100-88.

Dallas took a 66-54 halftime lead with its highest scoring half this season.

The Mavericks shot 58 percent from the field in the first half and had four double-figure scorers led by Terry's 13.

Seattle rallied to tie twice in the third quarter before fading down the stretch.

"We really pressed them," Sonics coach Bob Hill said. "It was a five-point game but we couldn't sustain it in the fourth quarter."

Hill said he wasn't surprised at Croshere's big game.

"He's capable of doing what he did," Hill said. "That's how their team is made up. He's paid to do that."

Notes

  • Terry will have his No. 31 retired on Friday night by Seattle's Franklin High School. Terry, who led Franklin to consecutive Washington state championships in 1994-95, will fly to Seattle for the ceremonies, then rejoin the Mavericks for Saturday night's home game against Minnesota.
  • Howard is expected to rejoin the team on Wednesday.
  • Croshere had the second biggest points-to-minutes ratio in club history. Mark Aguirre had 36 points in 23 minutes for the Mavericks against the Denver Nuggets in 1987.
  • Rashard Lewis missed his 18th consecutive game for Seattle due to a right hand injury.
  • Mavericks rookie J.J. Barea scored 40-plus points twice last week during a stint with the Fort Worth Flyers of the Developmental League.
  • The Sonics hit their first six field goal attempts and were tied at 28 entering the second quarter.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Avery Johnson and the Mavs' bench appreciate Austin Croshere's performance in place of Josh Howard.  (AP)
Avery Johnson and the Mavs' bench appreciate Austin Croshere's performance in place of Josh Howard. (AP)

Scoreboard
Seattle (17-28) 28262622102
Dallas (37-9) «28381937122
SEA:R. Allen 35 Pts
SEA:N. Collison 9 Reb
SEA:R. Allen 7 Ast
DAL:A. Croshere 34 Pts
DAL:A. Croshere 7 Reb
DAL:J. Stackhouse 4 Ast
Players of the Game
DallasSeattle

A. Croshere

R. Allen
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
34733567
Seattle
R. Allen, SG3914-244-567535
C. Wilcox, PF324-134-471412
E. Watson, PG317-90-016115
N. Collison, C286-103-390415
M. Gelabale, SF242-60-04014
D. Wilkins, SF312-74-48428
J. Petro, C212-50-07234
L. Ridnour, PG170-50-01040
A. Brown, F103-61-13007
M. Wilks, PG31-10-00202
M. Sene, C20-10-00000
D. Fortson, PFDid Not Play
R. Lewis, SFDid Not Play
R. Swift, CDid Not Play
Totals 41-8716-17462224102
 47.1%94.1% 
Dallas
J. Terry, PG356-105-634019
D. Nowitzki, PF313-129-1061115
D. Harris, PG285-86-624116
D. George, SF254-80-01129
E. Dampier, C210-10-04300
G. Buckner, SG338-110-013417
A. Croshere, PF2411-145-573234
D. Diop, C170-11-25021
J. Stackhouse, SF162-80-13404
A. Johnson, PG82-30-00124
D. Mbenga, C10-00-00000
M. Ager, SG11-10-01103
J. Howard, SFDid Not Play
P. Mensah-Bonsu, PFDid Not Play
J. Barea, PGDid Not Play
Totals 42-7726-30332514122
 54.5%86.7% 
Other Games
GS 97 Final
Cle 124
Det 99 Final
Wash 104
Bos 96 Final
Ind 103
Mil 80 Final
Mia 110
LAL 94 Final
NY 99