Nowitzki’s 35 Points Lead Mavs to Victory
Dallas 102, Chicago 94
CHICAGO, Dec. 5 (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki got off to a slow start, but he was able to turn it on in a big way as the Dallas Mavericks won again in the "Windy City."
Nowitzki made just one of his first six shots, but ended up tying his season high with 35 points as the Mavericks posted a 102-94 triumph over the Chicago Bulls.
"Chicago is a great team at home," Nowitzki said. "We knew that coming in, and they kept stepping up and hitting big shots all night. We were lucky to get the win here."
Nowitzki, who finished the game making 14-of-28 shots, gave the Mavericks their biggest lead when he connected on a 3-pointer to make it 86-76 with 7:21 to go.
"I hit the three to put us up 10 points, but they kept coming," Nowitzki said. "They came back and hit two big shots right after that and were right back in the game."
Luol Deng, who scored 25 points off the bench for the Bulls, responded with a 3-pointer to trigger a 13-4 burst. Ben Gordon, who scored 26 points, capped the run with a floater at the 3:58 mark to trim the deficit to 92-91.
"We made a run, but our defense wasn't really up to par," Gordon said. "This includes myself and my teammates, we just weren't in the game defensively at times. I think that is our main problem."
Gordon had a chance to give the Bulls the lead less than a minute later, but DeSagana Diop swatted away his layup attempt. Diop finished with three blocks, including his rejection on Darius Songaila with 1:19 left.
Both starting point guards were unable to finish the game as Chicago's Kirk Hinrich had to leave the game after taking an inadvertent elbow from Nowitzki just three minutes into game.
"I was driving to the basket and I don't know what happened," Nowitzki said. "I thought I got fouled. You hate to see players go down like that, I hope Kirk is alright soon."
"When you lose Kirk you take away a lot of intangibles," Gordon said. "He is our catalyst, especially on offense."
Jason Terry had to leave the game because of a sore left hamstring at the half. However, his departure allowed Devin Harris to get more playing time and he responded with 13 points and a career-high 10 assists - his first career double-double.
"Devin did a great job for for us, especially with his 10 assists," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "Jason hurt his hamstring and couldn't get it lose for the second half."