Nowitzki, Howard Lead Surging Mavs at Home
Dallas 114, Milwaukee 95
DALLAS, Jan. 16 (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks want to be more defensive-minded but lately have reverted to their offensive roots.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 35 points and Josh Howard added 21 and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks rolled to a 114-95 triumph over the Milwaukee Bucks.
"These last two have been against Eastern Conference teams that we were supposed to beat," Nowitzki said. "We don't really want to overrate these wins here. Now we have a tough West Coast road trip (at Houston, L.A. Clippers, Portland, Golden State and Seattle) coming up where we can show where we are. It should be a fun trip for us."
"Overall the last two games, the communication has been pretty good, hopefully we can continue that," Howard said.
The Mavericks began to assert their offensive muscle in the second quarter, when Nowitzki scored nine points as they they took the lead for good. Dallas held a 58-45 halftime advantage.
"I thought offensively we really had everything going," Nowitzki said. "We had 58 points at the half. We were moving the ball well. We were shooting the ball well and once we change side to side, we're at our best. I thought we did a great job of always finding the open guys. We penetrated and kicked, so really, I think we got whatever we wanted."
Michael Redd scored 29 points for Milwaukee, which allowed its deficit to grow to 20 points on an 11-4 run to start the third quarter and never threatened thereafter. Nowitzki had seven points in the run and 16 in the quarter.
"We couldn't get any stops tonight," Redd said. "Nowitzki had 33 after three quarters. That's inexcusable. Everybody's to blame for that. Turnovers and defensive assignments, not adjusting. If you look over our last eight games, key players had 30 or more points, so we've got to do a better job adjusting on key guys on the opposite team and play better together defensively."
Nowitzki made 14-of-21 shots on the floor after making just 5-of-22 in Milwaukee in a 113-111 Dallas overtime loss November 29.
"That's a shooter for you, our superstar," Howard said of Nowitzki. "He's able to do that night in and night out. We're going to need him to do that for us all season."
Jason Terry added 20 points and five assists for Dallas, which has won five of its last six games and 10 of its last 13.
"We challenged ourselves to play better, be aggressive and be more assertive on both ends of the floor," Terry said. "We're able to do that now."
Keith Van Horn, who scored a season-high 23 points in Dallas' win over New Jersey Saturday, left the game at the end of the first quarter after spraining his left ankle. He had come off the bench and scored nine points in the last 4:24 of the quarter.