DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks gave coach Don Nelson a
high-scoring sendoff, racking up the most points in the NBA this
It was Nelson's final game leading the team before undergoing
surgery Thursday to repair a torn right rotator cuff. Assistant
Avery Johnson will take over as head coach beginning with Thursday
night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers until Nelson returns
"He's been the coach since I've been here," Finley said.
"It'll be strange not to have him on the sidelines yelling at
Nelson was mostly pleased with his final look at the team for a
while, but he had to leave his starters on the floor until the
closing seconds because the Wizards rallied to draw as close as 11
with 2:26 left.
"It was the good, the bad and the ugly," Nelson said. "It's
hard to play with a 30-point lead in the NBA. I guess you should
assume people are going to make a run at you. ...We were beautiful
in the first half and then got caught up in a rag-tag kind of game
and didn't handle it very well."
Nowitzki became the fifth member of the Mavericks to reach
10,000 career points when he hit a 23-foot jumper with 7:14 left in
the first quarter.
"It's definitely quite an accomplishment," Nowitzki said. "It
was good that I was so close so I could get it out of the way
"We have to do some soul-searching," Arenas said. "Everybody
knows what happened tonight. We've got to move forward."
Washington got off to a listless start after losing by 28 points
at San Antonio on Monday night and was behind by 20 points heading
into the second quarter.
The Wizards, who began their road trip with a seven-game winning
streak, have lost their last two games since Larry Hughes went on
the injured list due to a fractured right thumb. Hughes was
averaging 21.2 points per game, second on the team to Arenas' 22.6.
"We're going through an adjustment period right now,"
Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "Hughes meant so much to our
team. But we shouldn't have played the way we did tonight."
Dallas finished the second quarter with a 17-3 run to build a
73-40 halftime lead, shooting 58 percent (25-for-43) from the
field. The Wizards missed their last 11 field goal attempts of the
first half and didn't have a field goal over the final 5:38 of the
Washington trailed by as many as 37 before a 15-2 run early in
the third quarter, but the Wizards could only get as close as
101-78 entering the final quarter.
Arenas' previous career high was 41 points. ...F Josh
Howard returned to Dallas' starting lineup after missing the
previous three games with an upper respiratory infection. ...
Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre, Derek Harper and Finley were the
first four Dallas players to reach 10,000 career points. ... Both
teams were in throwback uniforms. The Mavericks wore their green
from 1987-88 and the Wizards wore their orange from 1970-71 when
they were based in Baltimore and were known as the Bullets. ...The
Mavericks have won 10 of their last 13 against the Wizards. ...The
Mavericks' previous season high was 123 in two games.