Dallas 114, L.A. Lakers 95

DALLAS, Jan. 18 (AP) -- Jason Terry missed the shot underneath, and still made something good happen for the Dallas Mavericks.

Terry grabbed his own rebound and swiped the ball in one motion to Dirk Nowitzki at the top of the key for a 3-pointer. That was one of his season-high 13 assists and it helped put the Mavericks ahead to stay early in the second quarter.

Dallas went on to a 114-95 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, avenging its only loss over the past six weeks.

"That was pretty much all the motivation we needed," said Josh Howard, who led the Mavericks with 29 points and 11 rebounds. "We lost focus in the fourth quarter out there. Tonight, we took it upon ourselves as a team, without coach even having to tell us, and played our game."

Dallas has won 19 of 20 games, six in a row since a 101-98 loss in Los Angeles on Jan. 7 that ended a 13-game winning streak.

"We were definitely disappointed dropping that game," Terry said.

Dallas, the defending Western Conference champions who started 0-4 for the first time in team history, reached the midpoint of its regular season with the NBA's best record (33-8). It matches the Mavericks' most wins ever in the first half of the season.

Plus, the Mavs are 5-0 in games this season when they had a chance to avenge an earlier loss.

Terry's impressive assist to Nowitzki -- who finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds -- put the Mavs up 32-30. But the point guard wasn't finished, scoring on the next Dallas possession after Greg Buckner's steal, then keying a run in the third quarter.

Dallas stretched its lead to as many as 28 in the third quarter, when the Lakers went more than seven minutes without a field goal.

Terry's 3-pointer that made it 82-57 with 5:20 left in the third quarter capped an 11-0 run that began when he penetrated the paint before dishing out to Nowitzki on the right wing for a three. Terry also had a behind-the-back pass to Nowitzki for another basket.

"Guys were knocking down shots," Terry said. "We were aggressive all night long, and did a good job containing Kobe. We'll build on this one, and get on to the next one."

Next up for Dallas is Sunday at Miami, in a rematch of last season's NBA Finals won by the Heat in six games after they fell behind 0-2.

Kobe Bryant had 26 points for the Lakers, whose three-game winning streak included a 100-96 victory at San Antonio on Wednesday night. Even though Bryant scored 13 points in the third quarter, that's when Dallas took control.

"It's disappointing because we didn't give ourselves a chance. You want to hang in and give yourself a chance down the stretch," Bryant said. "We were a little sluggish but I don't think fatigue was a factor."

Jordan Farmar's 3-pointer with 1:12 left in the third quarter ended the Lakers' field goal drought (eight misses in a row), but they were already down 91-68 by then.

Farmer finished with 17 points and Sasha Vujacic had 10.

Howard and Nowitzki led six players in double-figure scoring for Dallas, which got 14 from Devean George, 12 from Terry and 11 each from Jerry Stackhouse and Buckner. Erick Dampier had 10 boards and matched a season high with four blocks.

Dallas pushed the lead to 60-48 by scoring on 11 of its last 14 possessions before halftime, including six points by Anthony Johnson in the final 1:02, when he twice beat an expiring shot clock.

Johnson's long jumper gave Dallas its first 10-point lead, 56-46. Later, Johnson grabbed a loose ball and made a desperation 12-foot runner with 4.6 seconds left in the half -- and zero on the shot clock.

"I thought we played pretty well for 14, 15 minutes, but they got going in the second quarter and we couldn't recover," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.

George, who spent his first seven NBA seasons with the Lakers before signing as a free agent with Dallas last summer, started against his former team because regular starter Devin Harris was ill. George missed his first two shots, leading to an early timeout when he got an earful from coach Avery Johnson, then made seven of his last eight.

Harris was sent home before the game with a "really high" temperature.

Notes: Stackhouse sang the National Anthem before the game, the second time he has done so with the Mavericks. Dallas won the other game as well, against the Boston Celtics on Dec. 28, 2004. ... Terry finished one assist shy of his Dallas high, set in that same Celtics game two seasons ago when Stackhouse sang. ... Los Angeles has won 48 of the last 59 games in the series, but Dallas is 6-4 in the last 10.

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