Monday, December 20, 2010
NBA Wrap: Mavs' end Heat 12-game streak, beat Miami 98-96
ATLANTA (AP) There were new names on some of Orlando's shirts, but Atlanta's Al Horford wasn't convinced he was looking at a different Magic team.
Horford said the Magic still were relying on Dwight Howard's inside power, and jump shots from the center's supporting cast. Unfortunately for the Magic, most of those jumpers were not falling against the Hawks.
Horford scored 24 points and the Hawks rolled to a 91-81 victory over Howard and the cold-shooting Magic on Monday night.
Orlando, which hasn't had time to practice since acquiring Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu on Saturday, struggled to find an offensive flow all night.
"They have the same kind of team," Horford said. "They're shooters. They're the same team but with different players."
After setting a season low with 14 points in the first quarter, the Magic were held without a field goal for the first 8 minutes of the final period. The Hawks led by 17 when Richardson finally ended the drought with Orlando's first basket with 4:04 remaining in the period.
C.J. Miles came off the bench to score 22 points and lead a balanced scoring attack, and visiting Utah cruised to a 101-90 win over Cleveland. The victory marked the first time the Jazz (20-9) won back-to-back games this month. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers (8-20) lost for the 11th time in 12 games.
MIAMI (AP) The streak-busters of the NBA hail from Dallas.
And for whatever reason, unless there's a championship at stake, the Miami Heat simply cannot beat the Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, Jason Terry had all of his 19 in the final 11 minutes, and the Mavericks held LeBron James scoreless in the first half on the way to ending Miami's 12-game winning streak with a 98-96 victory on Monday night.
It was Dallas' 14th straight regular-season win over the Heat, and the Mavericks had been the most recent team to beat Miami this season, too. Dallas has snapped six opponent winning streaks of at least five games this season - including a pair of 12-gamers, against San Antonio on Nov. 26 and now Miami's.
"I don't make a huge deal out of the streak," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We are just trying to play solid basketball and win as many games as we can."
Terry has spoken often about how losing to Miami in the 2006 NBA finals still upsets him.
So while shooting at the East end of the court - the one over which the Heat championship banner softly sways - he put on a fourth-quarter show.
His biggest blow was a 3-pointer with 1:25 left, putting Dallas up 89-85 after Nowitzki airballed a 3-pointer but Miami couldn't get the rebound. Miami got within 91-90 on a three-point play by James, but that was the last gasp.
"Jet finally showed up in the fourth," Nowitzki said. "That's what he does. He's our finisher. He's our closer. He got hot."
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Tim Duncan had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs won their ninth in a row, 118-110 over the Phoenix Suns, who played undermanned again Monday night following their blockbuster trade.
Gary Neal scored 22 off the bench for the Spurs, who improved the NBA's best record to 24-3 and are one victory from their second double-digit winning streak already this season.
Jared Dudley had 27 points for the Suns, who were still waiting to unite with trade acquisitions Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus. They're expected to be ready for Phoenix's next game Thursday against Miami.
Phoenix played a night after upsetting Oklahoma City. But using only eight players, the Suns saw their halftime lead rapidly dissolve into a near-blowout.
Miami was within one point four times in the final 6:27, but Dallas never relinquished the lead.