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Friday, Feb. 26, 2010

Old hands give Mavs the edge over Lakers

DALLAS (AP) While most of the focus in recent days was on the newest members of the team, it was two of the longest-tenured Dallas Mavericks who carried them in the clutch against the defending champs.

News photo
Overcoming obstacles: Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha puts up a shot between San Antonio's Tony Parker and Antonio McDyess on Wednesday night. The Spurs won 95-87. AP PHOTO

Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, Jason Terry added 30 and the short-handed Mavericks won their fifth straight game, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 101-96 on Wednesday night.

The Mavericks acquired Caron Butler, who did not play because of a negative reaction he had to medication, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson in a seven-player deal with Washington on Feb. 13.

Los Angeles star Kobe Bryant praised the trade during the All-Star break, saying it made the Mavericks a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before Wednesday's game that the new-look Dallas squad would be better defensively.

Down the stretch, however, the Mavs relied on Nowitzki and Terry, who scored 22 of Dallas' final 23 points.

"This is our type of ballgame," said Terry, who along with Erick Dampier joined the Mavericks in 2004 and trails only Nowitzki in service time with the team. "Any time in the fourth quarter and the game is close, it's going to be up to myself, (Jason Kidd) or Dirk to get the win. I think we welcome that challenge and we don't need to change it right now."

Bryant scored 20 points and moved into 13th place on the career scoring list. Bryant, who passed Reggie Miller, has 25,298 points.

After hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to beat Memphis on Tuesday night, Bryant missed a 3-pointer that could have tied it with 25 seconds left.

"We play this team extremely well," Bryant said. "We wanted to come in here and put a stop to them."

Magic 110, Rockets 92

In Houston, Dwight Howard was 11 for 11 from the field and had 30 points and 16 rebounds to help Orlando beat the Rockets.

Bucks 115, Hornets 95

In Milwaukee, Andrew Bogut had 26 points and 13 rebounds to continue his string of dominant performances for the Bucks.

Spurs 95, Thunder 87

In San Antonio, Manu Ginobili scored 26 points and made a spectacular block on Kevin Durant's would-be dunk late in the fourth quarter to lead the Spurs past Oklahoma City.

Suns 106, 76ers 95

In Phoenix, Jason Richardson scored 24 points, and Steve Nash had 20 points and 13 assists in his return to the Suns' lineup after missing a game to rest injuries to his back and abdomen.

Hawks 98, Timberwolves 92

In Atlanta, Josh Smith scored a season-high 27 points, and Joe Johnson had 21 to help the Hawks beat Minnesota.

Jazz 102, Bobcats 93

In Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer scored 20 of his 33 points in the second half, and Deron Williams added 20 points and 12 assists as Utah beat Charlotte.

Bulls 120, Pacers 110

In Chicago, Luol Deng scored a season-high 31 points as the Bulls beat Indiana after blowing an early 23-point lead.

Trail Blazers 101, Raptors 87

In Toronto, Andre Miller had 18 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, and Brandon Roy added 20 points as Portland downed the Raptors.

Grizzlies 99, Wizards 94

In Washington, Zach Randolph had 22 points, and Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol each added 20 to help Memphis run its road winning streak to three.

Clippers 97, Pistons 91

In Los Angeles, Chris Kaman had 21 points and 15 rebounds, Drew Gooden added 20 points and 13 boards and the Clippers beat the Pistons.

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