Short-Handed Mavericks Win Fifth Straight, Beat Lakers 101-98


February 25, 2010

Short-Handed Mavericks Win Fifth Straight, Beat Lakers 101-98DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki scored 31
points, Jason Terry added 30 and the short-handed Dallas Mavericks won
their fifth straight game, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 101-96 on
Wednesday night.

Dallas' Caron Butler, a key part of a
seven-player trade with Washington on Feb. 13, missed the game because
of a negative reaction he had to medication.

Without Butler, Nowitzki and Terry picked up the slack by scoring 22 of the Mavericks' final 23 points.

Kobe Bryant scored 20 points and
moved into 13th place on the career scoring list. Bryant, who passed
Reggie Miller, has 25,298 points.

After hitting the game-winning
3-pointer with 4.3 seconds left to beat Memphis on Tuesday night,
Bryant missed a 3-pointer that could have tied it with 25 seconds left.

Lamar Odom led Los Angeles with 21 points, Ron Artest had 13 and Derek Fisher finished with 12.

Jason Kidd had 14 points, 13 assists
and seven rebounds for the Mavericks, who improved to 5-1 since the
trade with the Wizards. Brendan Haywood chipped in 11 points, nine
rebounds and five blocks.

Neither team led by more than nine in a game went back-and-forth throughout. There were 24 lead changes and eight ties.

Terry hit a 3-pointer that made it
90-84. After Bryant scored to make it 90-86, Nowitzki answered with a
17-footer that stretched the lead back to six with 3:18 remaining.

Haywood hit a free throw, the only
point over the final 10:46 not scored by Nowitzki and Terry, to make it
93-86. Nowitzki stripped the ball from Andrew Bynum, starting a fast
break that ended with Terry's layup and pushed Dallas' lead to 95-86
with 2:20 left.

Los Angeles went on a 8-2 run to
trim its deficit to three. Odom hit a 3-pointer and Bryant drove for a
layup to make it 97-94 with 57.9 seconds left.

Shawn Marion missed a short jumper,
setting up the Lakers for what appeared to be another late comeback
after they rallied to beat Memphis one night earlier.

Bryant's 25-footer went long, and Terry and Nowitzki combined to make four free throws to seal the victory.

This was the teams' first meeting
since the Mavericks traded for Butler, Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson.
Bryant praised the Mavericks after the swap, saying they became a
legitimate threat in the Western Conference.

The Mavericks were without one of
those acquisitions when the team announced just before the tip that
Butler wasn't going to play.

Stevenson started in Butler's place
and guarded Bryant for most of the first quarter. Bryant struggled
early, missing his first five shots.

Bryant had a couple of baskets to
cap a 10-0 run late in the second quarter. He hit an off-balance
13-footer, his first points of the game, and followed with another
basket to give the Lakers a 48-39 lead with 2:58 left in the first

Dallas closed with a 10-2 surge
before halftime. Terry, who had 18 points in the first half, hit three
free throws, to bring the Mavericks within 50-49.

The Mavericks grabbed the lead by scoring the first six points of the third quarter.

Kidd closed the quarter with a 29-footer from beyond the arc just before the buzzer sounded, putting Dallas up 74-72.

Rapper Jay-Z and wife Beyonce
had courtside seats for the game. Jay-Z performed in Dallas at the
American Airlines Center on Tuesday night. … The Lakers have won
eight out of their past 11 over the Mavericks.

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