Mavericks’ rally falls short against Hawks

ATLANTA (AP) — Paul Millsap scored on a drive with 30.5 seconds remaining and the Atlanta Hawks held off the rallying Dallas Mavericks for a 100-95 victory Wednesday night.

After Millsap’s basket put the Hawks ahead 96-95, Harrison Barnes missed a chance to put the Mavericks back in front. His jumper was off the mark with Kent Bazemore right in his face.

Ersan Ilyasova was fouled going for the rebound and knocked down both free throws to extend Atlanta’s lead with 11.1 seconds left.

Dallas still had a chance to force overtime, but Seth Curry slipped on the inbounds pass and Bazemore scooped up the loose ball, taking off the other way for a dunk that clinched the victory.

Millsap had 18 points and just missed a triple-double, dishing out 10 assists to go with eight rebounds. Ilyasova also finished with 18 points.

Barnes led the Mavericks with 25 points.

The Hawks were up nearly the entire game, but the Mavericks fought back in the final quarter. Barnes knocked down a 3-pointer with 4:05 remaining to put Dallas ahead 90-87 — its first lead since the opening minutes.

Curry, who finished with 21 points, extended the margin to 93-89 with another 3 — his fifth of the game.

But the Hawks finished with an 11-2 spurt of their own.

GHANA IN THE HOUSE

Ben Bentil made his NBA debut for the Mavericks.

The Ghana native was a second-round pick by the Boston Celtics, but didn’t make the team. He had played in the D-League and even did a stint in China before signing a 10-day contract with the Mavericks.

Bentil entered the game in the second quarter, but didn’t score in a 4 1/2 minutes of playing time.

DOUBLING UP

After being ejected from Atlanta’s last game, Dwight Howard made it all the way through this time.

He had 14 points and 12 rebounds, his 39th double-double of the season.

Howard entered the night tied for sixth in the league in double-doubles.

NOWITZKI WATCH

Dirk Nowitzki moved a step closer to becoming just the sixth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points.

He had 11 points to push his career total to 29,952, leaving him just 48 shy of joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain in the exclusive club.

UP NEXT:

Mavericks: Return to Dallas on Friday to face the Memphis Grizzlies, beginning a five-game homestand.

Hawks: Host LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, the second of six straight home games for Atlanta.