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Dallas at New Jersey

Nowitzki nails game winner to lift Mavs over Nets

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEWARK, N.J. -- With the game on the line, Rick Carlisle didn't care that Dirk Nowitzki was having a horrible night shooting from the field.

The fortunes of the Dallas Mavericks were going to be put in Nowitzki's hands, and the big guy didn't disappoint.

Nowitzki hit a jumper in the lane with six seconds to play and the Mavericks continued their dominance over the New Jersey Nets with an 87-86 victory Saturday night.

Until his game-winning heroics, Nowitzki looked awful. He was 6 of 23 from the field and some of his shots barely touched the rim. One 3-pointer missed everything.

"When it comes down to it, there is really only one place to go in that situation," Carlisle said. "I loved the way [J.J.] Barea came through down the stretch, but to put the ball in his hands in that situation was probably not fair to him. Look, Dirk delivered. I know he wasn't shooting the ball well but I felt the matchup was good and he would get a clean look."

The Mavericks put the ball in play with 20.1 seconds to go and Nowitzki was able to force a switch, getting Nets swingman Stephen Graham to guard him.

Nowitzki made his move at the top of the key with about 10 seconds play, got Graham off his feet, went under him and got his jumper to fall after a circle around the rim.

Satisfied, he walked toward halfcourt and pumped his fist.

"I tried to concentrate even more," Nowitzki said of his last shot. "It was probably one of the best looks I had all night, in the paint, a 5, 6 footer. The up and under is usually my shot, but even that one almost rolled out."

The Nets messed up their chance at a game-winning attempt.

Jordan Farmar's inbound pass to Devin Harris was a little off target, and Harris had to rush toward the far sideline to get the ball. He was quickly double-teamed and threw a return pass to Farmar, whose off-balance shot didn't come close to going in at the buzzer.

"I think it [the pass] threw our timing off a little bit, but it didn't affect the play," said Harris, who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. "We got what we wanted. I just have to make the play."

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Nowitzki had 23 points to lead the Mavericks, who shot 34.7 percent from the field. It didn't matter because their last shot was the only one that counted.

"Oh man. I couldn't buy one," said Nowitzki, who was playing in his fifth game after being sidelined for nine with a sprained right knee. "I don't know what's going on. I'm running in quicksand. I can't make a move. I've got no legs. Even the last one really didn't want to go in. It kind of rolled out there."

Tyson Chandler added 19 points for Dallas, which has won five in a row and 19 of 22 against New Jersey.

Brook Lopez had 24 points for New Jersey, which lost its bid for a 13th win, which would have topped last season's total.

New Jersey, which had rallied from a seven-point deficit with 4:44 to go, took its last lead at 85-84 on two free throws by Lopez with 1:32 to go.

After Nowitzki missed a bad-angle 12 footer from the baseline, Devin Harris had a chance to push the lead to three, but he only made one free throw with 51 seconds to go to make it a two-point game.

Nowitzki drove the lane on the Mavericks' next possession and was blocked. Chandler picked up the loose ball and was fouled.

Dallas had made 26-of-27 free throws at that point, but Chandler missed his first attempt and made the second with 35 seconds left to cut the lead to 86-85.

Harris missed a jumper on the next possession after being grazed by Shawn Marion on his shot. The Mavericks called time with 20 seconds to go and set up Nowitzki for his winner.

Down 82-75 with 4:44 to play, the Nets scored eight straight points to take an 83-82 lead on a 3-pointer by Sasha Vujacic with 2:35 to go.

Barea put Dallas back ahead 84-83 with a 15-footer from the right of the foul line with 1:49 to go.

Dallas only shot 38.5 percent in the opening half but led 48-45 because it hit all 14 free throws.

The Mavericks scored the final 11 points of the half, with eight coming from the free throw line. Nowitzki had seven of the 11, including the only basket, a 3-pointer. Chandler had the other four free throws.

Dallas pushed its lead to 58-51 early in the third quarter, but New Jersey closed with a 17-10 spurt to tie the game heading to the final period.

Notes

  • The last time the Nets had a three-game winning streak was early in 2009.
  • The Nets are now 5-2 with owner Mikhail Prokhorov at the game.
  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also was at the game.
  • The win was only the Mavericks' second in nine games.
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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Dirk Nowitzki -- 23 points -- drains a long jumper with six seconds left to give the Mavs a victory.  (Getty Images)
Dirk Nowitzki -- 23 points -- drains a long jumper with six seconds left to give the Mavs a victory. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Dallas (28-15) «2226201987
New Jersey (12-32)2619231886
DAL:D. Nowitzki 23 Pts
DAL:S. Marion 11 Reb
DAL:J. Kidd 8 Ast
NJ:B. Lopez 24 Pts
NJ:K. Humphries 15 Reb
NJ:D. Harris 11 Ast
Players of the Game
DallasNew Jersey

Dirk Nowitzki

Brook Lopez
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
23722463

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Dallas
D. Nowitzki, PF367-247-872223
J. Kidd, PG341-62-25825
T. Chandler, C307-115-680519
D. Stevenson, SG231-31-12324
S. Pavlovic, SG191-20-01233
J. Terry, SG334-142-210311
S. Marion, PF252-82-211016
J. Barea, PG223-60-01348
I. Mahinmi, C130-06-61026
B. Haywood, C50-12-22002
B. Cardinal, PFDid Not Play
C. Butler, SFDid Not Play
A. Ajinca, CDid Not Play
R. Beaubois, PGDid Not Play
D. Jones, SGDid Not Play
Totals 26-7527-2939182487
 34.7%93.1% 
New Jersey
T. Outlaw, SF322-72-26018
D. Harris, PG324-127-8311015
B. Lopez, C2810-154-663424
S. Graham, SF201-30-02002
D. Favors, PF153-50-01146
K. Humphries, PF333-42-315118
S. Vujacic, SG304-120-03049
J. Farmar, PG222-80-01736
J. Petro, C163-40-02056
A. Morrow, SG120-22-20032
T. Murphy, PFDid Not Play
Q. Ross, SGDid Not Play
D. James, SFDid Not Play
B. Uzoh, PGDid Not Play
Totals 32-7217-2139232586
 44.4%81.0% 
Other Games
Bos 83 Final
Wash 85
Atl 103 Final
Char 87
Pho 74 Final
Det 75
Tor 103 Final
Mia 120
Utah 85 Final
Phi 96
SA 72 Final
NO 96
Cle 79 Final
Chi 92
NY 98 Final
OKC 101
Orl 118 Final
Hou 104
Mem 94 Final
Mil 81
Ind 92 Final
Port 97
GS 109 Final
LAC 113