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Monday, Feb. 7, 2011

Nowitzki, Chandler star for Mavs in win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Tyson Chandler spent most of last season limping around with various injuries, underperforming and failing to crack the Bobcats' starting lineup before being dealt essentially for salary-cap relief.

News photo
European muscle: Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki shoots over Bobcats forward Boris Diaw on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C. Dallas won 101-92. AP PHOTO

The version of the big man who returned to Charlotte on Saturday night was hardly recognizable as he collected rim-rattling dunks and key rebounds for the NBA's hottest team.

The healthy Chandler's 15 boards combined with Dirk Nowitzki's 25 points ensured the Dallas Mavericks would suffer no letdown on Saturday night. Their 101-92 victory over the Bobcats was their eighth straight.

Chandler, who added nine points, said he didn't get to sleep until 6 a.m. Saturday following a comeback victory in Boston the night before. But he provided plenty of energy for the Mavericks, who improved to 14-0 against the Bobcats and completed a 3-0 road trip that's propelled them to second place in the Western Conference.

"It's night and day the way I feel," said Chandler, slowed by ankle and toe injuries last season. "Last year I was fresh off my surgery that summer. Now it's been a year and I just feel like a different person."

Jason Terry added 21 points for the Mavericks, who have been on a roll since Nowitzki returned from a knee injury. Chandler has fueled the streak, too.

"He's been big. He's our emotional leader, our vocal leader," said Jason Kidd, who had 13 points. "He's a guy who can run the floor, finish above the rim, block shots and rebound. He's been a big part of our success."

Warriors 101, Bulls 90

In Oakland, Calif., Monta Ellis scored 33 points and Stephen Curry had 23 as Golden State snapped Chicago's six-game wining streak.

Lakers 101, Hornets 95

In New Orleans, Pau Gasol had a season-high 34 points to go with 10 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant added 32 points, including a 3-pointer with 3:20 left to give the Lakers the lead for good.

Nuggets 113, Timberwolves 100

In Minneapolis, Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and J.R. Smith added 14.

Chauncey Billups added 21 points and 13 assists for his first double-double of the season and Arron Afflalo scored 22 points for Denver, which shot 54.4 percent against Minnesota's woeful defense.

Pistons 89, Bucks 78

In Milwaukee, Richard Hamilton scored 15 points in his first action since Jan. 10.

Tayshaun Prince had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, and Ben Gordon scored 12.

Thunder 121, Jazz 105

In Salt Lake City, Russell Westbrook scored 33 points for Oklahoma City.

Westbrook made all four of his 3-point attempts to help the Thunder shoot a season-best 13 of 21 on 3-pointers. Kevin Durant scored 21 points and Jeff Green added 20.

Rockets 95, Grizzlies 93 (OT)

In Houston, Kevin Martin scored 31 points, including 15-for-15 shooting from the free-throw line, as the Rockets won for the first time in six overtime games this year.

Hawks 99, Wizards 92

In Washington, Josh Smith scored 29 points and added a season-high 16 rebounds. Joe Johnson scored 21 points and Marvin Williams added 15 and 12 rebounds for Atlanta, who has won three in a row.

Nick Young led the Wizards with 21 points. John Wall had 18 but was 2 of 7 from the free-throw line.

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