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Nowitzki's late 3 gives Mavs a win

Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, left, celebrates his go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left with O.J. Mayo, center, and Mike James.

Associated Press

Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, left, celebrates his go-ahead 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left with O.J. Mayo, center, and Mike James.

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki said the ball felt flat coming out of his hand. It turned out to be the perfect trajectory for Dallas.

Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left, and the Mavericks rallied to beat the Bulls 100-98 Saturday.

"It didn't feel great," Nowitzki said of the winning shot, which capped a season-high 35 points. "This game was kind of like the story of our season. Every time someone writes us off, we find a way to come back."

The Mavericks trailed by 12 in the fourth. But Nowitzki, who made his first eight shots and finished 14-of-17 from the floor, scored Dallas' last eight points of a 15-1 run over the final 3½ minutes.

Jimmy Butler missed two free throws with 15.9 seconds left for Chicago. Then Vince Carter drove the lane and kicked a pass out to Nowitzki, who stepped into a 3-pointer with Luol Deng running at him.

After making the shot, Nowitzki raised both hands and yelled as he headed toward the Dallas bench. Nate Robinson then missed a jumper at the buzzer to deny Chicago its season-high fourth consecutive victory.

Dallas moved within a game of the Lakers and Jazz, who entered Saturday tied for the West's final playoff spot before games against the Kings and Nets, respectively.

The Mavericks, who bounced back from a 25-point loss to the Pacers on Thursday, open a four-game road trip Tuesday against the Lakers after going 4-2 on their homestand

"All these are must-win for us," center Brandan Wright said. "We couldn't afford to lose two in a row."

Robinson scored 14 of his 25 during the fourth in Chicago's first game since ending Miami's 27-game win streak Wednesday. The reserve guard went 7-of-7 on 3-pointers.

Deng and Carlos Boozer also scored 25 for the Bulls, who made a season-high 12 3-pointers.

"This was definitely a tough loss," guard Kirk Hinrich said. "We just didn't finish it out. They have a lot of guys with lots of experience, and I give them credit."

Orlando returns to its losing ways

ATLANTA — Ivan Johnson scored a season-high 21 off the bench and Devin Harris scored 13 of his 17 during the fourth quarter as the Hawks pulled away to beat the Magic 97-88.

The loss came one night after Orlando ended an eight-game skid, and it now has lost 31 of 36.

The Hawks used their 27th different starting lineup in a game between shorthanded teams, but the result was familiar. Atlanta has beaten Orlando 10 consecutive times. This win moved it past Chicago for fifth in the East.

Atlanta took a 45-44 lead into halftime when Josh Smith beat the buzzer off an offensive rebound. That capped a solid half for the power forward, who scored 14 of his 21 during it.

Harden out: Rockets guard James Harden, fifth in the league at 26 points per game, sat out against the Clippers with an ankle injury. The team didn't disclose details, but he twice has missed games this season with a sprained right ankle. Coach Kevin McHale said Harden had a pain-killing shot a few weeks ago and played through it. "It's one of those things that you hope will get better soon because needless to say, we need him," McHale said.

Around the league: Bulls and ex-Gator center Joakim Noah missed his fourth consecutive game with plantar fasciitis in his right foot. … Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia will have season-ending surgery on his sore right Achilles. In 52 games, he averaged 5.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in 21.8 minutes.

Mavericks 100, Bulls 98

CHICAGO (98): Deng 10-17 1-2 25, Boozer 11-16 3-7 25, Mohammed 1-3 0-0 2, Hinrich 3-9 3-3 10, Butler 1-8 2-4 4, Gibson 3-7 1-2 7, Robinson 9-16 0-0 25, Cook 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 38-80 10-18 98.

DALLAS (100): Marion 5-9 0-0 10, Nowitzki 14-17 2-2 35, Brand 1-2 0-0 2, M.James 2-8 1-2 5, Mayo 1-13 2-2 4, Carter 6-14 4-6 17, Collison 3-6 2-2 8, Wright 7-8 3-4 17, Crowder 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 40-79 14-18 100.

Chicago 23 33 19 23— 98

Dallas 24 29 22 25— 100

3-Point GoalsChicago 12-21 (Robinson 7-7, Deng 4-7, Hinrich 1-2, Cook 0-2, Butler 0-3), Dallas 6-18 (Nowitzki 5-6, Carter 1-5, Crowder 0-1, Mayo 0-3, M.James 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsChicago 45 (Boozer 11), Dallas 48 (Wright 13). AssistsChicago 24 (Robinson, Hinrich 6), Dallas 24 (M.James 7). Total FoulsChicago 14, Dallas 17. TechnicalsRobinson, M.James, Nowitzki. A20,502 (19,200).

Hawks 97, Magic 88

ORLANDO (88): Harkless 6-10 4-8 17, T.Harris 5-18 0-0 11, Vucevic 8-17 1-3 17, Udrih 8-23 2-3 20, De.Jones 3-4 2-3 8, O'Quinn 1-4 0-0 2, Moore 0-5 4-6 4, Nicholson 3-5 3-4 9, Lamb 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-87 16-27 88.

ATLANTA (97): Korver 3-7 1-1 8, Smith 7-14 7-9 21, Petro 3-7 0-0 6, Teague 3-14 1-1 7, D.Harris 5-7 5-9 17, Da.Jones 0-1 1-2 1, Johnson 7-14 7-8 21, Tolliver 3-8 1-1 8, Mack 3-6 0-0 8, Scott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-78 23-31 97.

Orlando 27 17 16 28— 88

Atlanta 23 22 22 30— 97

3-Point GoalsOrlando 4-13 (Udrih 2-5, Harkless 1-3, T.Harris 1-4, Moore 0-1), Atlanta 6-21 (D.Harris 2-3, Mack 2-4, Korver 1-3, Tolliver 1-5, Smith 0-2, Teague 0-4). Fouled OutO'Quinn. ReboundsOrlando 63 (Vucevic 15), Atlanta 53 (Johnson 10). AssistsOrlando 12 (Udrih 8), Atlanta 18 (D.Harris 6). Total FoulsOrlando 25, Atlanta 24. TechnicalsT.Harris, Atlanta Coach Drew. A17,152 (18,729).

Nowitzki's late 3 gives Mavs a win 03/30/13 [Last modified: Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:48pm]

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