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Monday, March 5, 2012

Nowitzki pours in 40 as Mavericks top Jazz


DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki made his first shot Saturday night, then scored again. When he connected again on his third attempt, the Dallas Mavericks knew exactly what to do.

News photo
Get open: Mavericks forward Lamar Odom looks to pass while being defended by the Jazz's Paul Millsap on Saturday in Dallas. The Mavericks won 102-96. AP

Nowitzki scored a season-high 40 points and the Mavericks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 102-96 victory against the Utah Jazz.

"His shot making was there from the very beginning and the guys knew that," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "They kept getting him the ball and he delivered all night long."

Nowitzki had 30 points when he went to the bench midway through the third quarter. It looked as if Nowitzki was going to relax the rest of the game as Dallas built a 23-point cushion in the fourth quarter.

The Jazz went on a big run to get within five points late. Nowitzki responded with a couple of big plays to help the Mavericks turn away the late rally.

"I had a good rhythm tonight," said Nowitzki, who scored 20 points in each half. "I had not been really been shooting the ball well, especially from 15 to 16 feet. I just wanted to be aggressive and my teammates kept feeding me."

Dallas forward Lamar Odom played for the first time after missing four games because of a family matter and personal reasons.

Odom was supposed to play Saturday night in the NBA Development League. Instead, he was recalled to play against the Jazz and scored nine points in 18 minutes. He also had five rebounds and blocked a season-high three shots.

"It was really personal, something I had to tend to," Odom said. "Mark Cuban is a great owner for understanding and knowing that sometimes we have to fix what's going on off the court in order for us to fix what's on the court."

Hawks 97, Thunder 90

In Atlanta, Josh Smith scored 13 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Hawks ended Oklahoma City's seven-game winning streak.

Smith matched a season high in scoring and also pulled down seven of his 12 rebounds in the fourth.

Magic 114, Bucks 98

In Orlando, Dwight Howard had 28 points and 14 rebounds to lead six Magic players in double figures.

Jason Richardson had 18 points for Orlando, while Hedo Turkoglu and Ryan Anderson chipped in 16 points apiece. Orlando shot 51.7 percent (14 of 27) from 3-point distance.

Pacers 102, Hornets 84

In New Orleans, Danny Granger scored 20 points as Indiana beat the Hornets to notch its first six-game winning streak in seven years.

David West had 14 points and 13 rebounds in his first game back in New Orleans after playing the first eight years of his career with the Hornets. Darren Collison added 13 points.

Grizzlies 100, Pistons 83

In Memphis, O.J. Mayo scored 17 points and sparked a fourth-quarter rally with his 3-point shooting to lift the Grizzlies to their fourth straight win.

Mayo was 4 of 5 outside the arc, connecting on all three attempts in the fourth quarter, when Memphis broke open a close game with 17 straight points.

Wizards 101, Cavaliers 98

In Washington, Jordan Crawford scored 31 points and John Wall added 24 as the Wizards beat Cleveland to end a six-game losing streak.

Antawn Jamison scored 29 points in his first game in Washington since being traded to the Cavaliers in February 2010, but missed a 3-point attempt to tie the game with 35 seconds left.

T-Wolves 122, Trail Blazers 110

In Portland, Kevin Love scored a season-high 42 points and added 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota past the Trail Blazers.

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