Dallas 106, Sacramento 104

DALLAS, Jan. 27 (AP) -- Coach Avery Johnson was so upset with the Dallas Mavericks' previous performance that he said he "burned the film.''

Johnson was much happier with his team's effort on Saturday night.

Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth straight double-double, and the Mavericks rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Sacramento Kings 106-104.

"This was a gutsy performance,'' Johnson said. "It really showed me what these men are made of.''

Jason Terry added 18 points and Jerry Stackhouse had 16 for the Mavericks, who have won 22 of their last 24. Devin Harris had 14 points and six assists, and Josh Howard contributed 13 points and seven rebounds for Dallas.

The Mavericks shot 31 percent from the field in a 96-85 loss at Chicago on Thursday night, prompting Johnson to say that there had been only "a handful of games'' during his 19-year NBA career when his team played so poorly.

Dallas bounced back against Sacramento with 53 percent field goal shooting and a 40-33 edge on the boards.

The Mavericks haven't lost two straight since opening the season 0-4.

"We were very disappointed with our overall effort in Chicago,'' Stackhouse said. "We didn't have it. It's nice to get home and bounce back. It took us a while, but we protected our home court.''

Dallas stretched its home winning streak to 13 games, the second-longest in franchise history behind a 16-game stretch last season.

"After we lose a game like we did in Chicago, we had to get over it and that's what we did tonight,'' Howard said. "It's a blessing that we have guys who are able to recover from losses.''

Ron Artest had 25 points, Kevin Martin added 21 and Corliss Williamson had 20 points for the Kings, who have lost 10 of their last 13.

"We're not mad, but we don't accept it,'' Artest said. "We wanted to win but things haven't been going our way lately.''

Sacramento trailed by as many eight in the fourth quarter, but the Kings pulled within 101-100 on Mike Bibby's 22-footer with 46 seconds left. Nowitzki answered with a 16-foot fadeaway with 27 seconds to play to push Dallas' lead to 103-100.

"In the fourth quarter we stepped up and got stops,'' Nowitzki said. "We were able to get in the open court and that's where we're at our best. That's our game.''

Sacramento climbed back within one when Brad Miller's off-balance 3-pointer with 4.1 seconds to play made it 104-103, but Nowitzki's two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining extended Dallas' lead to 106-103.

John Salmons, fouled intentionally at midcourt with 1.5 seconds left, made one free throw but missed the second on purpose. Dallas' Devin Harris tracked down the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

"It's still a loss,'' Miller said. "We went out there and played hard, but we made a couple of mistakes here and there and Dirk made some of those unguardable shots.''

Sacramento hit 10 of its first 13 shots in the third quarter and took a 76-71 lead on Artest's steal and dunk with 1:08 left in the period.

Martin's 3-pointer at the end of the period gave Sacramento a 79-75 edge.

Dallas led only 52-49 at halftime despite shooting 57 percent from the floor and outrebounded Sacramento 21-13.

Notes: Nowitzki has scored 30 or more points in eight of his last 14 games and has at least 20 points and double-figure rebounds in each of his last eight games. ... Artest scored eight of Sacramento's first 12 points and 11 of 22 in the first quarter. ...The Kings got 26 points off the bench in the first half. ...The Mavericks have won seven in a row at home against the Kings and 12 of 14 overall.


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