CHICAGO, Dec. 13 (Ticker) -- Michael Finley
and the Dallas Mavericks
continue to own his hometown team.
Finley, who scored 27 points, nailed a go-ahead jumper with 3.2
seconds left as the Mavericks beat the Chicago Bulls for a 13th
straight meeting, 94-93.
NBA TV highlights from |
The Bulls have not beaten the Mavericks since Dec. 29, 1997,
when Michael Jordan scored 41 points in a 111-105 victory.
Chicago has failed to reach 100 points in each of the 13
Finley said he enjoyed keeping the streak alive.
"It is always fun winning here, and I would give up shots to get
a win here," said Finley, a Chicago native. "At home in front
of friends and family, against the team I grew up watching, and
with MJ's jersey in the rafters, it's always special."
Chicago took a 93-91 lead on a 3-pointer from the right corner
by rookie Ben Gordon
with 12 seconds remaining, but Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki
was fouled three seconds later.
Nowitzki sank the first free throw but missed the second, and
the rebound went out of bounds with 7.1 seconds left. It
appeared to be touched last by Dallas' Josh Howard
, but the
Mavericks were awarded possession.
"It probably went off Howard, but (referee) Bob Delaney felt it
was a foul on (Bulls forward Tyson) Chandler, but rather than
call a foul, he just gave them the ball," Bulls coach Scott
Dallas inbounded the ball to Finley, who dribbled to his left
near the foul line and sank a floater over two defenders.
"The way they defended the play, it turned into an option play,
like football," Finley said. "When the defender made a mistake,
the pass was there for me. I had enough time to reach the
basket, so I took my time and got a good shot, and it went in."
Following a timeout, Chicago's Kirk Hinrich
missed a contested
jumper just before the buzzer.
"At first, I didn't think I had much time, and then both Finley
and (Marquis) Daniels were flying at me," Hinrich said. "So I
felt as if I didn't have any other choice but to give a
head-fake, otherwise they would have blocked it. So I still got
one up, but it was off-balance."
Nowitzki scored 21 points and Howard added 16 and 10 rebounds
for Dallas, which has won four in a row on the road and improved
to 3-0 in its new green jerseys designed by Sean "P. Diddy"
"It was a game we should have lost, but they made a lot of
mistakes to keep us around," Nowitzki said. "But we will take
it, maybe we just got a little lucky."
had 20 points to pace Chicago, which led by as many
as 10 points early in the fourth quarter.
The Bulls harmed their effort by committing 24 turnovers, though
the Mavericks converted them into just 15 points. Chicago
scored 20 points off 15 Dallas giveaways.
"We made mistakes that are not NBA game-winning type things,"
Skiles said. "Plays get magnified because we fumbled the ball
throughout the game. Still, Ben Gordon hit a big shot, we
executed perfectly, and we had a shot to win."