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Friday, Jan. 13, 2012

Nowitzki's clutch shot lifts Mavericks

AP

BOSTON — Delonte West dribbled down the clock and then did what a Dallas point guard does: He got the ball to Dirk Nowitzki for the winner.

News photo
Midair meeting: Dallas' Delonte West puts up a shot over Boston's Jermaine O'Neal in the second half on Wednesday night. The Mavericks beat the Celtics 90-85. AP

Nowitzki drove past Kevin Garnett for the go-ahead layup with 5.1 seconds left, scoring 16 points Wednesday night to lead the Mavericks to a 90-85 victory over the Boston Celtics.

"It's a fun situation to be in," said Nowitzki, who also drew a foul and made the free throw to give Dallas a three-point lead. "Everybody's looking at you and your team really depends on you, so I like to be in the position where I can make something happen."

Dallas led most of the game, but Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer — just his second basket of the night — to tie it 85-85 with 25 seconds to play. West, a former Celtic starting because Jason Kidd has been out with a back injury, dribbled the clock down to about 10 seconds before giving it to the reigning NBA Finals MVP.

Nowitzki cut to the basket around Garnett and picked up a foul from Brandon Bass while floating the ball into the hoop.

"He was up tight on me, and I had to go to the basket," Nowitzki said. "I saw the clock go down, and I really didn't see it go in."

The Celtics had a chance to tie, but Rajon Rondo's pass to Ray Allen behind the 3-point line was too low to handle and went out of bounds.

Rondo scored 24 points for Boston and Garnett had 16 points with 10 rebounds. Pierce finished with five points and Allen had nine for the Celtics, who have lost two straight since winning four in a row.

"This is his (Rondo's) team right now, until everybody else gets it going," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We need him to be aggressive. We need to be a scorer. And attack. That's a change, but that's what it is right now until everybody else gets it going, because they are not."

Brendan Haywood had eight points and 11 rebounds and reserve Jason Terry scored 18 points as Dallas won its third straight game — all without Kidd. Nowitzki also had seven rebounds and four assists as the Mavericks, who swept Boston last season en route to their first NBA title, beat the Celtics for the third time in a row.

Dallas dominated the first quarter and gave it back in the second, but coach Rick Carlisle's ejection early in the third quarter seemed to turn things around.

Carlisle was called for consecutive technicals just 1:26 into the second half when he ran down the sideline, over midcourt, to protest to the referee. Allen hit the two technical foul shots to give Boston a 47-42 lead, but Dallas scored 24 of the next 30 points to take a 66-53 lead on Terry's 3-pointer with 2 minutes left in the third.

"It's my opinion, but Kevin Garnett shouldn't be allowed to bear hug Dirk coming off the screen," Carlisle said after the game. "I wanted to make my point. If it costs me a few thousand dollars so be it."

Clippers 95, Heat 89

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 27 points and 11 assists and the Clippers rallied to beat Miami in overtime, dealing the Heat a second straight extra-time loss.

Blake Griffin had 20 points and 12 rebounds, Caron Butler added 20 points, and Chauncey Billups had 12 for Los Angeles, 9-2 against Miami at home since 2001-02. DeAndre Jordan had 11 rebounds.

The Clippers outscored the Heat 9-3 in overtime. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra got ejected after a technical foul with 5 seconds left.

Los Angeles led by two with 27 seconds left in regulation before LeBron James tied it 86-86 on a free throw. The Clippers called their final timeout and Paul dribbled around with James hounding him before putting up a shot that missed as time expired, forcing Miami to the third overtime of its trip.

Lakers 90, Jazz 87

In Salt Lake City, Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and Andrew Bynum blocked Al Jefferson's shot with 1.9 seconds left in overtime.

The win was the first on the road for the Lakers, while Utah dropped its first home game after starting 5-0.

Bulls 78, Wizards 64

In Chicago, John Lucas III scored a career-high 25 points filling in for injured Derrick Rose and the Bulls beat Washington for its third victory in three nights.

Lucas, starting for the first time in his 70-game NBA career, was at the point in place of MVP Rose, who was out with a sprained big left toe.

Thunder 95, Hornets 85

In New Orleans, Kevin Durant had 29 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City.

Durant hit 11 of his last 14 shots after missing his first three.

Russell Westbrook had 22 points and seven assists, and James Harden added 14.

Knicks 85, 76ers 79

In New York, Carmelo Anthony had 27 points and the nine rebounds, and the Knicks New York won their fourth straight.

Spurs 101, Rockets 95 (OT)

In San Antonio, Tony Parker hit four free throws late in overtime to lift Spurs past Houston.

Magic 107, Trail Blazers 104

In Portland, Dwight Howard had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Orlando survived a late rally to hand the Blazers their first loss at home.

Pacers 96, Hawks 84

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 24 points to break out of a shooting slump, and Roy Hibbert added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Kings 98, Raptors 91

In Toronto, Tyreke Evans scored a season-high 29 points, and DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and a career-high 19 rebounds to help Sacramento beat the Raptors for its first road victory of the season.

Nuggets 123, Nets 115

In Denver, Danilo Gallinari scored 22 points, Arron Afflalo and Corey Brewer each had 19 points and the Nuggets beat New Jersey.



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