Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 2/9

Game 1: Monday, February 9th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 17th

Hawks 111

(22-46, 8-27 away)

Mavericks 110


    Coverage: FSS

    7:30 PM ET, March 17, 2004

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 40 29 21 21111
    DAL 25 19 32 34110

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: S. Jackson 36 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    Dallas: S. Nash 30 Pts, 3 Reb, 9 Ast, 1 Stl

    Hawks snap Mavs' nine-game home streak

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Atlanta Hawks played free and easy, while the Dallas Mavericks felt pressure to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race.

    The team with no worries won -- but just barely.

    Stephen Jackson scored 36 points, 31 in the first half, and the Hawks led by as many as 26 before holding off Dallas 111-110 Wednesday night to snap the Mavericks' nine-game home winning streak.

    "They aren't playing for anything anymore," Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "They just go out there and jack it up and have fun. It's tough to play those teams."

    Jackson continued his success against Dallas this season. He had 30 points in the Hawks' 102-96 home victory over the Mavericks on Feb. 9.

    The Hawks have won only 22 times this season, but they completed a two-game sweep of the Mavericks.

    "We were just playing great team ball," said Jackson, averaging 33.8 points over his last four games. "We had a lot of open shots. We got good looks and I was just able to knock them down."

    Jason Terry had 25 points, Bob Sura added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Boris Diaw had 15 points for the Hawks, who had lost six of their previous seven games.

    Atlanta opened a big lead behind Jackson's 12-for-16 shooting before Dallas used a 34-21 fourth quarter to nearly pull off the biggest comeback in franchise history. But Steve Nash failed to hit the rim on a fading left-handed runner at the buzzer, giving the Hawks their eighth road win.

    Nash scored 30 points, 25 in the second half, and Nowitzki added 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who began the night with a league-best 29-4 home record.

    Michael Finley had 17 points and Antoine Walker contributed 12 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals for Dallas.

    The Mavericks trailed by as many as 26 points in the third quarter but closed to 111-110 on Nash's baseline drive with 34 seconds left.

    Terry's 15-foot jumper with 14 seconds left rattled in and out, with Nowitzki pulling down the rebound to give the Mavericks a last shot. But Nash was forced to the outside as the clock wound down, and his shot from about eight feet never reached the rim.

    "We had a great shot at winning it but you lose a lot of energy coming back," Nowitzki said. "This is such a big loss for us. We're right there with everyone and trying to get home court (in the playoffs). To lose to Atlanta is inexcusable."

    Nash had to hurry his last-gasp attempt, which was not the shot he wanted.

    "I'm going to have to live with that one for a while but I'm going to try to forget it," Nash said.

    The Hawks were in front 107-96 with 4:55 left, but Finley and Nowitzki hit consecutive 3-pointers during a 9-1 run to make it 108-105 with 1:05 left.

    Marquis Daniels scored seven points during Dallas' 11-3 run to close the third quarter, but the Hawks still took a comfortable 90-76 lead into the fourth.

    Jackson had 19 points while the Hawks were building a 40-25 first-quarter edge. Atlanta scored the most points by a Dallas opponent in any quarter this season. Jackson went 7-for-9 from the field in the opening quarter while the Hawks were connecting on 15 of 24 attempts.

    "The first half couldn't have gone any better," Atlanta coach Terry Stotts said. "Stephen Jackson was putting on a shooting clinic."

    With the Hawks holding a 25-point halftime lead, the Mavericks' normally supportive crowd booed their team as it went to the locker room.

    Game notes

    Dallas' best comeback was from 25 points down against the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 12, 1994. ... Jackson's 31-point first half was the most points scored by a Dallas opponent in any half this season. ... The record quarter for a Mavericks opponent is 46 by the Boston Celtics in 1995 and the Detroit Pistons in 1984. ... Mavericks coach Don Nelson chuckled when he was asked about the $10,000 fine the league levied against team owner and internet billionaire Mark Cuban on Wednesday. "That's tip money for him," Nelson said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 111 110
    FGM-FGA 43-86 (.500) 46-94 (.489)
    3PM-3PA 8-19 (.421) 8-19 (.421)
    FTM-FTA 17-22 (.773) 10-14 (.714)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-47 11-41
    Assists 22 27
    Turnovers 17 11
    Steals 8 7
    Blocks 3 1
    Fast Break Points 12 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (2/0) 20 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Stephen Jackson Jackson
    Points: 36
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0
    Steve Nash Nash
    Points: 30
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 9
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0