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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kidd fuels Mavs win with 26-point night

DALLAS (AP) Dirk Nowitzki was ejected. A 16-point lead had dissolved into a four-point deficit. And that recent 13-game winning streak was looking like something that happened a long, long time ago.

News photo
Not a kid anymore: Mavericks guard Jason Kidd goes up for a layup as Clippers guard Rasual Butler defends during their game on Tuesday in Dallas. Kidd, who was celebrating his 37th birthday, led the Mavericks to a 106-96 win. AP PHOTO

But the Dallas Mavericks still had one thing going for them. It was Jason Kidd's 37th birthday, and he wasn't about to let the Los Angeles Clippers ruin it.

Kidd scored a season-high 26 points, most of it coming during a game-breaking spurt at the start of the fourth quarter that sent the Mavericks to a 106-96 victory over the Clippers on Tuesday night.

"Since Dirk was gone, I thought I would play Dirk today," said Kidd, who made 10 of 21 shots, going 6-of-11 on 3-pointers. "I had some great looks early on that went in and out. Earlier in my career, I would've stopped shooting because I missed a couple. But I thought the team needed some scoring so I stepped up."

Since their long winning streak, the Mavs had lost three of the last four games.

They came out strong, scoring 62 points in the first half and were comfortably ahead when Nowitzki didn't like a foul call against him with 9:16 left in the third quarter.

Nowitzki told official Bill Kennedy what he thought of the call. Kennedy responded by calling a technical foul, screaming, "Bam! Right there!" and pointing at Nowitzki. Nowitzki apparently said something else because he got hit with another technical foul and an automatic ejection.

Bobcats 95, Wizards 86

In Washington, Gerald Wallace had 17 points, 19 rebounds and got two opponents to foul out in overtime to help the Charlotte set a club record for victories with win over the Wizards.

Pacers 98, Pistons 83

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Danny Granger scored 32 points as the Pacers ended a nine-game road losing streak.

Knicks 109, Nuggets 104

In New York, Danilo Gallinari scored 17 of his 28 points during a spirited duel with Carmelo Anthony in the third quarter and forward Al Harrington added 23 points for the Knicks.

Duke keeps focus

DURHAM , N.C. (AP) Duke can forget the Final Four — at least, for now.

The No. 1 seeded Blue Devils (31-5) haven't even reached the round of eight since 2004, so if they do advance, it would mark the latest measure of progress for a one-step-at-a-time senior class.

That's why they insist their focus is solely on fourth-seeded Purdue — and not their seemingly inevitable trip to Indianapolis for the Final Four — as they prepare for their South Regional semifinal Friday night in Houston.

"This year, we're only thinking about this year," guard Nolan Smith said Tuesday. "We're not focused at all on the past. The fact that we have guys that went to the (round of) 16 last year and knowing that's where we lost last year, we're ready to go past that. We're doing what we've got to do, defensively and rebounding-wise, to do that."

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