Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points to lead five Mavericks in double-figures, as Dallas halted a brief two-game losing streak with a 98-93 road victory over Atlanta.
Jason Terry added 15 points and seven assists off the bench for the Mavs, who survived a potential game-tying three from Joe Johnson in the final seconds to win in Atlanta for the second consecutive season. DeShawn Stevenson made all four of hits shots en route to 13 points, while Caron Butler also posted 13 points in the victory.
Shawn Marion recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds for Dallas.
Johnson ended with 11 points for the second consecutive game and went a paltry 1-for-6 from three-point range for Atlanta, which has lost five of seven overall. Al Horford posted his second career 20-20 game with 20 points and 20 rebounds, while Josh Smith scored 21 in defeat.
Nowitzki hit a 20-foot jumper for a 92-81 Dallas lead with four minutes remaining, but Atlanta embarked on a 12-2 run that put the hosts in position to win.
Horford scored the first six points of the run, and Mike Bibby’s three-pointer with 36 seconds left pulled the Hawks to within 94-91. Terry had issues pushing the ball up the court, and Crawford stole the ball and went in for an uncontested dunk with 15.2 ticks on the clock for a one-point contest.
Terry atoned for his mistake with a pair of free throws two seconds later, and Johnson held for the tying shot. He seemed to elude a defender, but his three- point attempt was off the mark, and Nowitzki grabbed the rebound and drilled two shots from the line to seal the outcome.
The Mavs held a 28-25 lead after one quarter and began the second quarter on a 9-0 run. Brendan Haywood hit a pair of hook shots to begin the frame, and Nowitzki’s short jumper made it 37-25 in the early moments.
Dallas’ lead grew as high as 18 before a Bibby three in the closing seconds had Atlanta within 55-43 at halftime.
The Mavs pushed their advantage back to 18 in the third before a late burst by the Hawks made it 77-68 heading to the fourth. Dallas led by as many as 13 in the fourth before Atlanta’s surge.
The road team has won three straight in the series…Atlanta fell to 3-4 at home and is 5-1 on the road…The Mavs have won eight of the last 11 meetings…These teams played at 8 p.m. (et) in Atlanta as opposed to 7 p.m. because of the NBA’s 22 1/2-hour rule that stipulates that no team can play two consecutive games in a window shorter than 22 1/2 hours. Dallas played on Friday at 9:30 p.m. (et)…The Mavericks committed only three fouls in the first half, 11 total.