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Nowitzki gets 8 stitches but returns

11/16/2003

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- By this time last season, the Memphis
Grizzlies didn't have a win at all, much less three in a row.

But all of a sudden, the Grizzlies are winning at home over some
of the NBA's top teams.

Mike Miller had 22 points, including six in overtime, and Jason Williams added 20 points and nine assists Saturday night to lead
the Memphis Grizzlies to a 108-101 victory over the Dallas
Mavericks.

The win not only snapped an 11-game losing streak to Dallas, but
gave Memphis home wins over the Mavericks, Lakers and San Antonio
in the season's opening weeks. Also, the Grizzlies are 5-4, the
latest in the season they've been above .500 in franchise history.

"Not bad," said Memphis forward Pau Gasol. "It means we are
headed in the right way. We're working hard, and it means the team
has changed, mentally especially."

The Grizzlies opened the extra period with seven straight
points. Dallas got to 102-99 on Antawn Jamison's layup with 2:04 to
play, but Memphis never let the Mavericks get closer.

Antoine Walker's 29-footer at the end of regulation sent the
game into overtime tied at 95. Walker's off-balance shot hit the
backboard, clanged off the rim and dropped through as the horn
sounded.

"I couldn't get one to go all night, but I got the important
one," Walker said. "Unfortunately, we came up short, so it was
all for naught."

Memphis coach Hubie Brown said there wasn't much more his
defenders could have done to prevent Walker's shot at the end of
regulation.

"He shot it from Chicago," Brown said. "He wasn't trying to
bank the shot. It was a miraculous shot."

Dallas All-Star center Dirk Nowitzki left the game in the third
quarter after receiving a cut over his right eye that required
eight stitches. He returned midway through the fourth period with a
bandage over the wound, but was ineffective, going 0-for-4 from the
field and having only two rebounds before fouling out with 37
seconds to play.

"He wasn't the same when he came back into the game. He was
dizzy," Mavericks coach Don Nelson said. "We have to be careful
and watch him."

It was a rough game with 45 total fouls, five technicals, one
ejection and some generally physical play. But Nelson, who got one
of the Dallas technicals, avoided any comments about officiating.

"I better stay off that," he said. "I've been suspended
enough."

Gasol added 17 points and 16 rebounds for Memphis, and James
Posey, whose head-to-head collision with Nowitzki caused the cut,
had 12. Reserve Shane Battier scored 11.

Nowitzki and Michael Finley had 19 points each for the
Mavericks, Nowitzki adding 11 rebounds. Steve Nash had 16 points
and eight assists, while Walker finished with 15 points and 10
boards.

The Grizzlies led by as many as 13 points in the first half
before a 17-4 run tied the game at 39. Nowitzki, who had 17
first-half points, scored 10 in the second period to lead the
comeback.

Williams' 3-pointer with 18 seconds left before half gave
Memphis a 48-46 lead at the break.

The Mavericks took a 78-72 lead into the final period after
Finley's 11 points in the third quarter.

"We just had to work a couple of extra minutes," Posey said of
the Memphis effort. "We still played with the energy and that
sense of urgency."

Game Notes: Dallas reserve G Tony Delk did not play because of a strained left hamstring. Delk, who is from Brownsville, Tenn., about 40 miles from Memphis, had Mavericks officials scurrying for tickets for family and friends. ... Memphis C Stromile Swift saw his first action in the last three games. With Jake Tsakalidis getting more playing time, Swift had lost his place in Brown's 10-man rotation. ... Nelson's and Nowitzki's first-quarter technicals were for arguing with officials about no-calls. ...Grizzlies reserve C Lorenzen Wright was ejected in the fourth quarter after earning his second technical of the game. Wright and
Shawn Bradley got tangled leading to a double-technical, and Wright had earned one earlier in the game for arguing a call.