Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/8

Game 1: Wednesday, January 8th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 18th

Hawks 79

(20-34, 4-22 away)

Mavericks 105


    Coverage: SSN

    7:30 PM ET, February 18, 2003

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 19 20 18 2279
    DAL 28 21 36 20105

    Top Performers

    Atl: T. Ratliff 11 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 4 Stl, 3 Blk

    Dal: M. Finley 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    Mavs bolt to 17-2 start, roll by Hawks

    DALLAS (AP) -- After several games with tight finishes, Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson was able to rest his starters in a blowout.

    Michael Finley scored 26 points and reserve Walt Williams added 15 points as the Mavericks took early control and eased to a 105-79 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

    Michael Finley

    The Mavericks won their third straight and improved their league-best record to 41-12.

    Dallas' previous six games had been decided by eight points or less, and three of those were defeats. The Mavericks were playing their fifth game in eight nights.

    "We've played a lot of games and close games and I think it has been a mental fatigue as much as anything,'' Nelson said. "Going from the All-Star break to the road to playing four games in five days, it kind of wore everyone out.''

    Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas' top scorer and rebounder, finished with only 14 points in 28 minutes after six consecutive games of 25 points or more.

    Finley went 10-for-19 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range.

    Dallas opened the game with a 17-2 run, hitting seven of its first eight shots while Atlanta missed its first nine field goal attempts. The Hawks didn't have a basket over the first 5:52 until Robinson connected on a short jumper to make it 17-4.

    The Hawks were able to narrow the deficit to 28-19 after one quarter and trailed at halftime, 49-39.

    Atlanta was still in the game, and that raised the ire of Nelson, who asked his players at halftime to raise their intensity level a notch.

    "If anything, we were taking the game too lightly, especially when we got up 17-2,'' Finley said. "But then we were able to pick it up in the second half.''

    Of Dallas' starters and key reserves, Finley was the minutes leader with 30 as Nelson made extensive use of his bench in the second half.

    "Tonight the bench took the challenge and came up big for us,'' Williams said. "We take a lot of pride and try to stay competitive and get some consistency.''

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim's 14 points and Glenn Robinson's 13 paced the Hawks, who have lost five of their last six.

    As Thursday's trading deadline approaches, several Hawks have been the subject of trade rumors.

    "Players are used to being talked about so I'm not sure how much that it bothers them,'' Hawks coach Terry Stotts said. "I think they expect it this time of year.''

    Atlanta, which went 25-for-79 from the field for a season-low 31.6 percent, was never able to get closer than eight points in the second half and trailed by as many as 34 in the third quarter. The Hawks went 3-for-19 from 3-point range while the Mavericks were going 9-of-13 on 3-pointers.

    The Mavericks finished the third quarter with a 30-12 spurt capped by six straight points from Shawn Bradley for an 85-57 advantage entering the final quarter.

    "They made shots and we missed shots,'' Robinson said. "We shot the ball bad all night. When you shoot 31 percent, you can't win against no one.''

    Game notes

    Dallas C Evan Eschmeyer got his third start of the season. ... The Hawks have lost nine in a row to the Mavericks. ... Dallas had 27 points off 18 Atlanta turnovers, the Mavericks' most points off turnovers this season. ... Bradley paced the team with a season-high four assists and scored 10 points. ... Dallas was guilty of 18 turnovers, its second most this season. ... The Mavericks never trailed for the ninth time this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 79 105
    FGM-FGA 25-79 (.316) 40-78 (.513)
    3PM-3PA 3-19 (.158) 9-16 (.563)
    FTM-FTA 26-37 (.703) 16-17 (.941)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 19-46 10-46
    Assists 13 24
    Turnovers 18 18
    Steals 12 8
    Blocks 5 6
    Fast Break Points 4 8
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 27 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Theo Ratliff Ratliff
    Points: 11
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 3
    Michael Finley Finley
    Points: 26
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0