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Sat, Mar 7, 2009 - 8:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Dirk, Mavericks handle Wizards

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DALLAS (AP)

With an ailing Josh Howard out of the lineup, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry took it upon themselves to carry the offensive load for the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki scored 34 points, Terry equaled a season high with 33 and the Mavericks handed the Washington Wizards their fifth straight loss, 119-103 on Saturday night. The Wizards, the Eastern Conference's worst team at 14-49, led by as much as 10 in the first half before the Mavericks rallied to tie it at halftime. Behind 23 points from Terry in the second half, Dallas broke the game open after a slow start. "I want to keep shooting regardless of percentages," Terry said. "Without Josh Howard right now, we have to get our attempts up. It's a big void to fill. Dirk and I taking 20 or 25 shots a night wouldn't be crazy." Nowitzki had nine rebounds and a season-high seven assists, and Antoine Wright scored 16 points and added four steals. Howard didn't play in the second half Thursday night against New Orleans and sat out Saturday with a sprained left ankle. The Mavericks starting forward, who missed 11 games earlier in the season with a bad left ankle, will visit a specialist Monday to determine whether he'll miss extended games. "It's a tough situation," Nowitzki said. "He's had injury trouble all season long. (Terry) was out for a couple of weeks, so it's been an injury-troubled season. We've got to find a way to make up for it." Antawn Jamison scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Wizards, who dropped to 4-27 on the road. Washington forward Caron Butler returned to the starting lineup and scored 20 points after missing three games with a strained left hamstring. "We are going to push it up and try to establish something on a positive note," Butler said. "The young guys that are here now, we have to figure out a way to play with them. So it is important for us to be out there with them." The Wizards shot 52.7 percent from the floor, but also had 22 turnovers. The Mavericks turned those miscues into 31 points. "I don't feel great about giving up 103 (points) and 53 percent shooting," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "That's not the best. But there were a lot of good things out there." Terry returned Sunday after missing eight games with a broken bone in his left hand. He scored all the points in a 9-0 run late in the third that extended Dallas' lead into double digits. Dallas' top reserve hit a 3-pointer to stretch Dallas' lead to 73-67. Terry added a driving basket and two jumpers to give Dallas a 79-67 advantage with 1:52 left in the third. Terry is averaging 17.6 points per game since coming back from the injury. "The guys really made a concerted effort to get me the ball," Terry said. The Wizards trimmed the deficit to eight in the fourth before the Mavericks pulled away. Nowitzki, who scored at least 30 points for the 19th time this season, converted a three-point play to make it 96-85. Terry hit a 3-pointer and made a behind-the-back pass to Nowitzki, who drove for a dunk to give Dallas a 101-85 cushion. The Mavericks have a 3 1/2-game lead over the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Dallas heads out on a four-game road trip that includes games at Phoenix, Portland and the Los Angeles Lakers. "Everything is still in reach," Nowitzki said. "We just have to play well together and we'll be right there." Nowitzki had 17 points, six assists and five rebounds in the first half. The Mavericks scored twice in the final 3.7 seconds of the first half to tie it at 51. Nowitzki drove for a layup, and then Jason Kidd stole the inbound pass and finished the half with a layup. Andray Blatche hit a jumper and a 3-pointer to give the Wizards a 40-30 lead with 7:04 left in the second quarter. Notes: Devean George started in Howard's place and scored six points. ... The Wizards were called for three defensive 3-second technicals.
Tagged: Mavericks, Wizards

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