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Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010

Mavericks halt Heat's streak at 12

MIAMI (AP) The streak-busters of the NBA hail from Dallas.

News photo
Strong effort: Hawks center Jason Collins puts up a shot as Magic center Dwight Howard defends in first-quarter action on Monday in Atlanta. Atlanta beat Orlando 91-81. AP PHOTO

And for whatever reason, unless there's a championship at stake, the Miami Heat simply cannot beat the Mavericks.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, Jason Terry had all of his 19 in the final 11 minutes, and the Mavericks held LeBron James scoreless in the first half on the way to ending Miami's 12-game winning streak with a 98-96 victory on Monday night.

It was Dallas' 14th straight regular-season win over the Heat, and the Mavericks had been the most recent team to beat Miami this season, too. Dallas has snapped six opponent winning streaks of at least five games this season — including a pair of 12-gamers, against San Antonio on Nov. 26 and now Miami's.

"I don't make a huge deal out of the streak," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We are just trying to play solid basketball and win as many games as we can."

Terry has spoken often about how losing to Miami in the 2006 NBA Finals still upsets him.

So while shooting at the East end of the court — the one over which the Heat championship banner softly sways — he put on a fourth-quarter show.

His biggest blow was a 3-pointer with 1:25 left, putting Dallas up 89-85 after Nowitzki airballed a 3-pointer but Miami couldn't get the rebound. The Heat got within 91-90 on a three-point play by James, but that was the last gasp.

Miami was within one point four times in the final 6:27, but Dallas never relinquished the lead.

"Couple of crazy bounces . . . and they capitalized," Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "That's how the night went for us."

Caron Butler scored 13 for the Mavericks.

Dwyane Wade had 22 points, while James and Bosh each scored 19 for Miami.

Spurs 118, Suns 110

In San Antonio, the home team's winning streak reached nine with a victory over undermanned Phoenix.

Tim Duncan had 20 points and 15 rebounds while Gary Neal scored 22 off the bench for the Spurs, who improved the NBA's best record to 24-3 and are one victory from their second double-digit winning streak already this season.

Jared Dudley had 27 points for the Suns, who were still waiting to unite with trade acquisitions Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus.

Hawks 91, Magic 81

In Atlanta, the hosts rolled over reconstructed Orlando.

The Magic, who haven't had time to practice since acquiring Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu on Saturday, struggled to find an offensive flow all night.

Al Horford scored 24 points to lead Atlanta.

Dwight Howard had 19 points and 20 rebounds for Orlando.

Pacers 94, Hornets 93

In Indianapolis, Mike Dunleavy's tip-in at the buzzer gave Indiana a victory over New Orleans.

Danny Granger led the Pacers with 27 points.

Emeka Okafor had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Hornets.

Jazz 101, Cavaliers 90

In Cleveland, Utah beat the Cavaliers, moving coach Jerry Sloan into a tie with Pat Riley for the third-most wins in NBA history.

Sloan, Utah's coach since 1988, has 1,210 victories. Up next is Lenny Wilkens (1,332) and Don Nelson (1,335).

C.J. Miles scored 22 points for the Jazz.

Wizards 108, Bobcats 75

In Washington, the hosts limited Charlotte to one field goal in the third quarter and snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Nick Young scored 21 points for the Wizards.

Blazers 106, Bucks 80

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, and the Trail Blazers shook off injury problems to rout Milwaukee.

Rockets 121, Warriors 112

In Oakland, Kevin Martin made a tying basket and a go-ahead 3-pointer in crunch time on the way to 30 points and Houston beat Golden State.

Clippers 113, Timberwolves 90

In Los Angeles, Eric Gordon scored a season-high 36 points, Blake Griffin added 22 points and 10 rebounds and the Clippers handed Minnesota its sixth consecutive loss.

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