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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Marion stars as Mavs capture 12th straight

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Just when Dallas needed it most, Shawn Marion returned to the high-scoring form that has been absent all season.

News photo
No LeBron, no problem: Cleveland's Mo Williams brings the ball upcourt against San Antonio's George Hill in the first quarter on Monday night. The Cavs beat the Spurs 97-95. AP PHOTO

That's been the story of this remarkable run for the Mavericks.

Marion had a season-high 29 points and 14 rebounds and the Mavericks stretched the league's longest active winning streak to 12 straight games with a 125-112 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

Marion has averaged at least 17 points a game seven times in his career, but he has taken a reduced role on offense this season in order to focus more on the defensive end. Marion entered the game averaging a modest 11.5 points a game and had a season high of 18 before Monday's outburst.

"Every week I tell him how important he is to us and how much as a coach I appreciate what he's done this year in terms of changing his game around," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Caron Butler had 23 for the Mavs (44-21), who haven't lost since Feb. 16.

Al Jefferson had 36 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota.

Cavaliers 97, Spurs 95

In Cleveland, Mo Williams drained two free throws with 9 seconds left as the Cavaliers beat San Antonio without LeBron James.

Williams finished with 17 points for Cleveland, playing its second straight game without the injured James. The NBA's reigning MVP is nursing a tender right ankle and the Cavs are being extra cautious.

Manu Ginobili scored a season-high 38 points to lead the Spurs, playing their first game without point guard Tony Parker. He's out six weeks with a broken hand.

Knicks 99, Hawks 98

In New York, the Knicks beat Atlanta for the third time this season when video replay showed Al Horford's basket came after the buzzer.

Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points and David Lee had 19 points and 13 rebounds for New York, which won for just the third time in 15 games.

Hornets 135, Warriors 131

In New Orleans, Darren Collison had 16 points and a career-high 20 assists as the Hornets snapped a four-game losing streak.

Anthony Morrow made all six 3-pointers he attempted and had 28 points for Golden State, which tied a team season high with 13 3s.

Grizzlies 107, Nets 101

In Memphis, Mike Conley and Rudy Gay had 21 points each, and Marc Gasol added 19 points and 13 rebounds as the Grizzlies withstood a second-half rally to defeat New Jersey.

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