Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Saturday, November 13th
Game 2: Saturday, January 15th

Nets 93

(12-24, 5-15 away)

Mavericks 98

(23-12, 13-7 home)

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:30 PM ET, January 15, 2005

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    NJ 14 24 21 3493
    DAL 25 14 23 3698

    Top Performers

    NJ: V. Carter 29 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Dal: D. Nowitzki 26 Pts, 12 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Dallas stops two-game skid

    DALLAS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki wouldn't let a mildly sprained ankle keep him off the court for long.

    Nowitzki scored 26 points -- 16 in the second half after having X-rays on his left ankle -- and the Mavericks beat the New Jersey Nets 98-93 on Saturday night.

    Dallas played the final 5 minutes of the second quarter without Nowitzki, who landed awkwardly on his ankle while passing the ball. X-rays were negative and Nowitzki started the second half.

    "He can shoot the ball, we know that," said teammate Jerry Stackhouse, who finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. "He can go out there on two broken ankles and still shoot the ball. We wants to be out there. When we get in a little lull like we did tonight, he's the guy we look to to make the big shot."

    Nowitzki has been bothered by bone spurs in the ankle, but he said wasn't hurting badly enough to miss the second half.

    "I could feel right away it wasn't that bad," said Nowitzki. "I came down a little awkward and walked it off. We took X-rays to see what the bone spurs were doing in there and that they were having fun. I got it re-taped, went back out there. It didn't feel great but I've got a nice day off (Sunday)."

    Nowitzki, who went 8-for-16 from the field and hit all 10 free throws, hit his first two shots to begin the second half and had 10 in the third quarter as the Mavericks held a 62-59 entering the final period.

    New Jersey retook a 68-67 lead early in the final quarter on Jason Kidd's basket before Dallas went on an 18-4 run that included six free throws from Nowitzki.

    Jason Terry completed the decisive run with consecutive 3-pointers, the second with 3:30 left to give the Mavericks an 85-71 advantage.

    Kidd finished with 10 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for New Jersey, the 61st career triple-double for the NBA's active leader.

    Nowitzki, who had 12 rebounds, is two points short of 10,000 for his six-year career. He's averaging 31.3 points in six games this month.

    Coach Don Nelson was relieved when Nowitzki, his top scorer and rebounder, felt enough confidence in the ankle to come out for the second half.

    "I didn't know if I was going to have Dirk in the second half," Nelson said. "I don't know that we could have won the game had we not had him."

    Michael Finley added 16 points to help the Mavericks snap a two-game losing streak and beat the Nets for the 10th straight time.

    Dallas, which won for the sixth time in its last seven home games, got 15 points from Terry, all in the second half.

    The Mavericks were dragging after losing at San Antonio on Friday night, but they still had enough down the stretch to beat the Nets.

    "It was a one-point game with six minutes and change to go," said Nets coach Lawrence Frank. "We had three quality looks that didn't go down. We kept on fighting but it wasn't enough against obviously a high-quality team."

    Vince Carter had 29 points and Rodney Buford added 18 for the Nets, who lost their fourth in a row and sixth in the last seven. New Jersey is 3-8 since acquiring Carter from the Raptors.

    "It's not getting frustrating yet," Carter said. "We need to keep fighting. We played better in the fourth quarter. That's a step in the right direction."

    The Nets shot 41 percent for the game while Dallas converted only 39 percent of its field goal tries.

    Game notes

    The Mavericks were without regulars Josh Howard (upper respiratory infection) and Marquis Daniels (ankle). Howard, who's lost eight pounds during his illness, missed his third straight game. ... C Erick Dampier returned to the Dallas lineup after missing Friday night's loss at San Antonio due to a right knee contusion, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds. ... The Nets are 8-12 since Kidd returned to the lineup after recovering from knee surgery. ... Kidd's 61 triple-doubles are fourth all-time. Oscar Robertson is the career leader with 181.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 98
    FGM-FGA 39-94 (.415) 31-79 (.392)
    3PM-3PA 6-15 (.400) 8-20 (.400)
    FTM-FTA 9-13 (.692) 28-31 (.903)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-44 12-53
    Assists 26 16
    Turnovers 11 16
    Steals 9 6
    Blocks 4 5
    Fast Break Points 12 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 1 14

    Top Performers

    New Jersey
    Vince Carter Carter
    Points: 29
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 26
    Reb: 12
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2