Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/8

Game 1: Friday, November 8th
Game 2: Saturday, November 30th

Mavericks 114


Bulls 87

(2-4, 1-2 home)

    7:30 PM ET, November 8, 2002

    United Center, Chicago, IL

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 34 28 31 21114
    CHI 20 22 22 2387

    Top Performers

    Dal: D. Nowitzki 24 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Chi: J. Rose 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast

    Nowitzki, Bradley put Bulls away early in rout

    CHICAGO (AP) -- With one of their toughest stretches of the season ahead, the Dallas Mavericks played with one eye on the floor and the other on the schedule.

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Dirk Nowitzki led six Mavericks in double figures with 24 points Friday night, as Dallas got off to a quick start and then turned it over to the bench for a 114-87 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

    At 5-0, the Mavericks are off to their best start in franchise history.

    "We did what we needed to do, rested the big-minute guys,'' said Shawn Bradley, who had 11 rebounds and eight blocks. "It's a nice way to start a back-to-back.''

    The Mavericks host Detroit on Saturday night, and then face four more playoff teams in their next five games. That includes trips to Boston and New Jersey, as well as a visit from the Lakers.

    "The season gets tough now,'' said Chicago native Michael Finley, who scored 14 despite shooting 4-of-15 from the floor.

    With that kind of brutal schedule in front of them, the last thing Dallas wanted was a close game with the Bulls.

    "They're a young, energetic team,'' Bradley said. "You give them any type of hope, any kind of opening and with their energy, they're going to be dangerous.''

    The Mavericks never gave them that chance. Leading by five, Nowitzki, Nick Van Exel and Williams all hit 3-pointers to close out the first quarter and give Dallas a 34-20 lead.

    Van Exel hit a jumper to spark a 9-0 run that gave Dallas a 48-29 lead with 6:54 to play in the half. The Mavericks pushed it to 60-38 on Nowitzki's 3-pointer with 1:29 left, and Chicago never threatened again.

    With the game in control, Dallas coach Don Nelson went to his bench. Nowitzki played just 24 minutes, while Steve Nash was in the game for 18. Adrian Griffin logged the most minutes of any starter, but even he only played 35.

    Eduardo Najera and Walt Williams picked up most of the slack off the bench, each playing 29 minutes. Najera scored 15, and Williams added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

    "That was the most important thing,'' Finley said. "Our bench came in and played well in order to give the starters a break.''

    The Bulls, well, they didn't get any breaks at all, trailing by as much as 40. They shot 43 percent from the floor, a franchise-low 41.7 percent from the free-throw line and gave away 21 points on 16 turnovers.

    Tyson Chandler was in foul trouble most of the night, finishing with more fouls (four) than points (three). Jay Williams was 2-of-9, not getting his first basket until 4:50 was left in the third quarter.

    Jalen Rose and Lonny Baxter were the lone bright spots. Rose scored 24, while Baxter added 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

    "I don't think it's necessarily a loss of confidence,'' Rose said. "We're just not getting it done. We're not the best or the most experienced team around, but we should be better.''

    The fans certainly agreed, booing the Bulls at the end of the game.

    "We're a young, aspiring team, but it's the second night in a row we've shot 40 percent,'' Rose said. "The fans want to see us do well, not down 30 in the third quarter. They deserve better.''

    Game notes

    Dallas C Evan Eschmeyer missed his second game with a strained right knee. ... The Mavericks have won nine straight against the Bulls, their last loss to Chicago coming on Dec. 29, 1997. ... Walt Williams' double-double was his first since November 2000. ... Bulls C Eddy Curry had his first double-double of the year, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 114 87
    FGM-FGA 40-81 (.494) 36-84 (.429)
    3PM-3PA 9-18 (.500) 5-8 (.625)
    FTM-FTA 25-30 (.833) 10-24 (.417)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-47 15-44
    Assists 26 22
    Turnovers 13 16
    Steals 10 9
    Blocks 11 2
    Fast Break Points 4 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 20 (4/0)

    Top Performers

    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 24
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Jalen Rose Rose
    Points: 24
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0