DALLAS, Dec. 2 (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki
injured his elbow late in the
third quarter but was feeling just fine in the fourth.
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Nowitzki and Steve Nash
combined to score the final 16 points
for the Dallas Mavericks, who remained unbeaten at home with a
113-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Nowitzki was having a sub-par game before leaving with a bruised
right elbow in the third period. He returned to the court less
than four minutes later and finally found his shot when the
Mavericks needed it most.
"He broke his burser sack," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "It
looks worse than it is. It gets real puffy and big and will
probably be that way for quite a while."
Dallas had a 97-94 lead with 5:40 remaining after Toronto reeled
off six consecutive points. After the teams traded baskets,
Nowitzki had a layup and a dunk for a 103-96 edge at 4:20.
Nash buried a 3-pointer 26 seconds later and had consecutive
layups to give the Mavericks a 110-98 cushion with 1:48 to go.
After Toronto missed a pair of 3-pointers, Nowitzki sealed the
victory for Dallas with a 3-pointer that made it 113-100 with 35
Nowitzki scored 23 points on 7-of-20 shooting and Nash added 25
points for Dallas, which has won its first nine games at
American Airlines Center.
"We believe that we are a championship team," Nash said. "It's a
long season and we're so far away from the season that counts,
but it's nice to be playing well."
"We wanted to win these two at home before we go on the road,"
Nelson said, referring to Dallas' upcoming three-game road trip.
"Now we will be tested. We are in the West and going on our
first extended road trip. We are looking forward to see where we
are and what we need to do there."
Nick Van Exel
had 17 points and six assists off the bench and
scored 15 points for the Mavericks, who shot 55
percent (41-of-74) from the floor.
Dallas scored 56 points in the paint and outscored Toronto,
31-11, on the fast break.
scored 27 points and Morris Peterson
added 24 as
the Raptors fell to 2-1 on a four-game road trip.
"We were right there," Toronto coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We had
a golden opportunity. That's when you almost have to be perfect
down the stretch."
had 18 points and nine rebounds and Vince Carter
finished with 17 points on 8-of-20 shooting for injury-plagued
Toronto, which dress only eight players.
"We can definitely learn from this," Williams said. "We can
learn from the situation. It sure was hard for us to guard, so
we can learn from our mistakes. We get a loss out of this, and
there is no plus to that, but every game you can learn from."