Nowitzki, Terry Spur Mavericks in Fourth
Dallas 101, Seattle 98
SEATTLE, Dec. 23 (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki usually is charged with carrying the Dallas Mavericks in crunch time. However, Jason Terry provided assistance to topple his hometown team.
Nowitzki scored 14 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and Terry added 12 of his 19 in the final period as the Mavericks rallied for a 101-98 triumph over the Seattle SuperSonics.
"We didn't really play great the last two games, but we found a way to stick around," said Nowitzki, who still had the black eye he suffered in Tuesday's 112-90 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. "We knew we had to respond. After that L.A. game, we just wanted to get that out of our heads and two wins is the way to do it."
Dallas found itself trailing, 87-75, with 7:41 remaining after Ronald Murray's two free throws capped Seattle's 11-0 run to open the fourth quarter.
Nowitzki and Terry responded by combining to score 13 of the game's next 15 points, nine of them coming at the line.
"I feel great," said Terry, who had nearly 80 family and friends in attendance. "I am just thriving in the moment of getting the ball in late-game situations and wanting to take the shot."
The 7-foot Nowitzki had a short baseline jumper blocked by a flying Rashard Lewis. But Terry stole the outlet pass and zipped a pass underneath to Nowitzki for a dunk and a 96-95 lead with 46 seconds left.
"Terry had a stretch where he wasn't playing particularly well for us," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We just keep reminding him of who he is and he's made some big shots for us. It is good to see."
"They turned a lot of our turnovers into quality possessions," Seattle guard Ray Allen said. "We couldn't stop them because they kept going to the free-throw line. That's what killed us."
After an airball by Seattle's Luke Ridnour, Nowitzki returned the favor on the next possession, drawing a double-team in the low post and firing a pass to the top of the arc to Terry, who drilled a dagger 3-pointer with 18 seconds to go.
"Down the stretch, he's still clutch," Nowitzki said of Terry. "Every time. He doesn't miss free throws. He doesn't miss a layup and the three, you can basically count on it. He's one of the most clutch players that I've ever played with."
"Christmas came early for Dallas. We gave them one," Sonics coach Bob Weiss said. "There were way too many fouls. It's very frustrating. The whole third and fourth quarter, we missed a lot of good shots that we were making early."
Former All-Star Jerry Stackhouse made his season debut for Dallas after a sore knee kept him out of the team's first 26 games. He scored eight points on 3-of-8 shooting in 16 minutes.
"It felt good to feel a little burn and get back in the groove a little bit," Stackhouse said. "I am maybe 75 percent. I need to get back into game shape. I didn't really get tired. I just tried to work my minutes hard when I was out there, but I felt good."
"Stackhouse means so much to us," Terry said. "He's our spiritual leader in the locker room, but there is just such a difference when he is in that uniform. He came out and gave us some big buckets tonight."
Vladimir Radmanovic scored 20 points off the bench and Allen
added 19 on 8-of-21 shooting for the Sonics, who have lost five
of their last six home games.