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Monday, Jan. 17, 2011

Nowitzki tossed in defeat to Grizzlies

Forward missed previous nine games with injury

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Dirk Nowitzki was back in uniform for Dallas, then back in the locker room long before the Mavericks' losing streak reached five games.

News photo
In traffic: Bulls guard Derrick Rose puts up a shot between Heat players Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade in the fourth quarter in Chicago. The Bulls won 99-96. AP PHOTO

Zach Randolph had 23 points and 20 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies ruined Nowitzki's abbreviated return with an 89-70 victory on Saturday night.

Darrell Arthur finished with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, and Rudy Gay added 16 as the Grizzlies capitalized on Nowitzki's ejection to win their second straight and fifth in the last seven.

"Without Nowitzki creating a lot of havoc, we were able to play compact and play our game, then close back out," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said, adding that the Mavericks were short-handed with Nowitzki's limited minutes and the absence of starting center Tyson Chandler (illness).

"We played solid defense, but I'm not going to stand here and say we shut down the Dallas Mavericks' 'A' game."

Ian Mahinmi led Dallas with a career-high 17 points, hitting all six of his shots, while Shawn Marion scored 11.

Nowitzki, the Mavs' leading scorer with 24.1 points per game, was back after missing nine games with a sprained right knee, and Dallas was 2-7 during that stretch.

But the rust from the time off was evident for Nowitzki. He looked tentative in his time on the floor, not cutting sharply or running as hard as usual.

"I've never missed three weeks in my career," Nowitzki said. "Actually, lung-wise, I was fine. I was running. I just really couldn't move much. My lungs were actually decent. I wasn't too gassed. I wasn't too tired. We've just got to get that knee closer to 100 percent."

With 8:08 left in the third period and after getting called for a foul against Randolph, Nowitzki's frustration spilled over. He took two quick technicals from official Eric Dalen and was ejected.

Bulls 99, Heat 96

In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 34 points and Kyle Korver hit a crucial 3-pointer with 25 seconds left as the Bulls withstood a stellar performance by Dwyane Wade to beat Miami.

The Heat, playing without injured LeBron James for a second consecutive game, lost their third straight despite a 33-point performance from Chicago native Wade, who scored 12 in the fourth quarter, including three straight 3-pointers to give his club the lead.

Hornets 88, Bobcats 81

In Charlotte, David West had 26 points and eight rebounds as a weary New Orleans took advantage of Tyrus Thomas' late ejection to beat the hosts for their fourth straight victory.

Chris Paul added 19 points in his return to his home state for the Hornets, who after playing their second straight overtime game didn't arrive at their Charlotte hotel until 6:15 a.m. Saturday following travel problems.

Rockets 112, Hawks 106

In Atlanta, Aaron Brooks had 24 points and 10 assists and Luis Scola added 20 points as Houston beat the Hawks.

Joe Johnson scored 30 points for Atlanta, which had a 10-game home winning streak ended.

Magic 108, Timberwolves 99

In Minneapolis, Jason Richardson scored 21 points to lift Orlando over Minnesota.

Dwight Howard had 16 points and nine rebounds and J.J. Redick scored 21 for the Magic.

Wizards 98, Raptors 95

In Washington, Nick Young had his second big home game in a row, scoring 18 of his 29 points in the third quarter as the Wizards defeated Toronto.

Young didn't match the 43 he posted against Sacramento four nights earlier, but he again ignited a Washington team that continues to look decent at home and terrible on the road.

Pistons 110, Kings 106

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Tayshaun Prince scored 21 points and Rodney Stuckey added 19 as Detroit beat Sacramento.

Trail Blazers 96, Nets 89

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge's 27 points helped the Blazers defeat New Jersey.

Nicolas Batum had a season-high 23 points for Portland, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Nuggets 127, Cavaliers 99

In Denver, Nene scored 22 points, Chauncey Billups and Arron Afflalo each added 21 as the Nuggets handed Cleveland its 19th straight road loss.

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