Final

Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/23

Game 1: Saturday, November 23rd
SuperSonics105Final
Mavericks115
Game 2: Sunday, January 19th
Mavericks81Final
SuperSonics85
Game 3: Thursday, March 13th
Mavericks100Final
SuperSonics107
Game 4: Monday, April 14th
SuperSonics106Final
Mavericks109

SuperSonics 106

(39-42, 15-26 away)

Mavericks 109

 

    7:30 PM ET, April 14, 2003

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 27 27 26 26106
    DAL 26 19 30 34109

    Top Performers

    Seattle: R. Allen 35 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Dallas: D. Nowitzki 39 Pts, 10 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Nowitzki lifts Mavs to win, but Spurs clinch Midwest

    DALLAS (AP) -- After owning the NBA's best record for the first 162 days of the season, the Dallas Mavericks will have to settle for second in the Midwest Division.

    Despite Dirk Nowitzki's 39 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in a 109-106 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Monday night, Dallas' hopes of taking the division race to the final day ended a half-hour later when San Antonio beat Utah.

    The Mavs and Spurs play Wednesday night, but the game is mostly meaningless. Although Dallas can still tie San Antonio, the Spurs hold the tiebreaker with a better conference record. The incentive instead for the Mavericks will be trying to reach 60 wins for the first time in franchise history.

    ``It's tough because you think back and if we'd won one more game, it would've come down to Wednesday,'' Nowitzki said. ``But we've got to move on.''

    Dallas is locked into the third seed in the Western Conference. The Mavs will open against the sixth seed, either the Lakers, Portland or Minnesota.

    Seattle's loss ended a streak of 16 straight winning seasons. The Sonics are 39-42 with one game left.

    ``We have some good things that are starting,'' said Vladimir Radmanovic. ``I don't see our team in this same position next year.''

    Dallas came out flat and was down 60-51 with 9:14 left in the third when Don Nelson, possibly coaching his last regular-season home game, got thrown out for strolling onto the court. The deficit soon grew to 13.

    ``It was important that we show some fight,'' guard Steve Nash said. ``In the first half, we lacked energy and passion. But as the game went on, we started fighting back. Nellie getting ejected was a sign for us to pick it up instead of laying down and getting beat.''

    Nowitzki scored 10 straight, then later tied the game with a 4-point possession: a layup and two free throws, one on a foul by Rashard Lewis and another on a technical against Lewis that got him tossed. A furious Lewis threw his mouthpiece as he left the court.

    Seattle, playing its second game since being eliminated from the playoffs, was up five to start the fourth quarter, but the Mavericks used a 21-4 run to go ahead 96-86. Raef LaFrentz hit a 3-pointer for the lead, then added another 3 and a dunk.

    Dallas wouldn't trail again, but the Sonics never went away.

    A 15-4 spurt got them within 100-99. Even down 108-101 with 30.2 left, Seattle scored five straight, including a 38-foot 3-pointer by Ray Allen with 2.9 seconds left. Nick Van Exel was fouled on the ensuing inbounds pass and made a free throw to seal the victory.

    Allen had 35 points and six rebounds. Lewis had 21 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes.

    He was tossed after getting two technicals within 1:03 late in the third quarter. He'd been angry since early in the period when an elbow from Shawn Bradley left him sprawled on the court.

    ``It knocked me out for a second,'' Lewis said. ``He throws those elbows all the time. I told the refs to watch it, but they didn't call anything.''

    LaFrentz had 17 points and nine rebounds and Van Exel had 15 points and seven assists. Nash had 14 points, going 4-of-13.

    Michael Finley returned from a 13-game injury absence and had just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in 12 minutes, only in the first and third quarters. He said he came out pain-free.

    ``It felt OK,'' Finley said. ``It was good to just get back out there and no longer be a spectator. I didn't do anything offensively or rebounding, but I think my presence gave my teammates a boost.''

    Dallas' recent demise came while Finley was gone. The Mavs were 7-6 without him, with all losses against Western playoff teams. They need him healthy to have any chance in the postseason.

    ``It's been like watching your little brother fight against a bully and not being able to help him,'' Finley said. ``It was tough to see the guys lose what we had worked so hard for, but we can't let that affect us.''

    Nowitzki, who had 37 the last game, fell one short of his career high. He had 19 in the first half, when Dallas' offense went through him more than usual. He finished 14-of-21 and 11-of-13 from the line.

    The Mavs finished 33-8 at home, tying the second-best home record in team history.

    Game notes


    The Mavericks now lead the all-time series in Dallas 25-24. ... Seattle activated guard Ronald Murray and put center Elden Campbell on the injured list. ... Popeye Jones went on the injured list to clear a spot for Finley. ... Dallas sold out every home game for the first time in franchise history and has a streak of 75 straight sellouts, including the playoffs.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    SEA
    DAL
    Points 106 109
    FGM-FGA 35-85 (.412) 41-83 (.494)
    3PM-3PA 10-27 (.370) 5-18 (.278)
    FTM-FTA 26-32 (.813) 22-31 (.710)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-44 11-49
    Assists 23 26
    Turnovers 9 11
    Steals 8 4
    Blocks 1 7
    Fast Break Points 5 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (3/0) 25 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Seattle
    Dallas
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 35
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 39
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1