Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/21

Game 1: Friday, January 21st
Mavericks105Final
Bobcats99
Game 2: Saturday, March 19th
Bobcats93Final
Mavericks104

Mavericks 105

(26-12, 11-5 away)

Bobcats 99

(8-28, 7-12 home)

    Coverage: FSSW

    7:00 PM ET, January 21, 2005

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 23 33 23 26105
    CHA 27 21 18 3399

    Top Performers

    Dallas: J. Terry 17 Pts, 4 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Charlotte: E. Okafor 24 Pts, 15 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Finley, Nowitzki score 20 apiece; Charlotte drops 7th in row

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Charlotte Bobcats have alleged unfair officiating all season. Now they might have proof to back them up.

    Moments after their 105-99 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, coach Bernie Bickerstaff said guard Jason Hart claimed an official told him the Bobcats are punished for complaining.

    "An official told him in the last game that we would not get calls because we complain," Bickerstaff said. "I'm just conveying what one of my guys told me."

    Hart, who started against the Mavericks in place of injured guard Brevin Knight, said the exchange came during Wednesday night's loss to Philadelphia. He said he did not take the statement as a "threat," just an explanation as to how the games are officiated.

    "It was more like, `If we complain all game, the calls you should get are probably not going to go your way, " Hart said. "It wasn't a threat. He was just saying, `Just Play.' "

    But it's hard for the Bobcats to not feel slighted, especially after going to the line just 16 times against the Mavericks. Dallas, on the other hand, attempted 31 free throws.

    Bickerstaff, who was ejected from the Philadelphia loss, acknowledged he complains.

    "It could be adverse to us. But I think I still owe it to my guys," he said.

    The Bobcats have lost seven straight and 13 of 14, and once again, they were in this one late after rallying from 13 points down at the start of the fourth quarter.

    Jason Kapono hit consecutive 3-pointers to start a rally, and his two free throws with 2:14 to play cut Dallas' lead to 95-94.

    But Keith Bogans was called for a foul away from the basket and Jerry Stackhouse made both free throws to push the lead to 97-94.

    The teams traded baskets until Charlotte's Kareem Rush missed an open 3, Dirk Nowitzki got the rebound and Michael Finley made a 13-footer with 38 seconds to play and a 101-96 Dallas lead.

    That could have been enough for Dallas, but Kapono hit another 3 with 34 seconds to play to cut the lead to 101-99. The Bobcats tried to defend, but Jason Terry hit a jumper to seal the win.

    "It would be really arrogant if I said we weren't concerned," acting coach Avery Johnson said.

    Finley and Nowitzki scored 20 points each to lead Dallas to its fourth consecutive victory. Stackhouse scored 19 points, Terry had 17 and Howard added 11 for the Mavericks, who have won nine of 11 games.

    Johnson had a pep talk with Terry at halftime that sparked him to speed up the tempo and hit two late baskets.

    "Me and him had a good talk," Terry said. "Anytime you get a vote of confidence from the coach it means a lot. It motivated me to go out in the second half and just be a general."

    Emeka Okafor had 24 points and 15 rebounds, and Primoz Brezec and Jason Kapono added 14 each. Hart had 13 points and 10 assists.

    The Mavericks closed the first half with a 14-0 run to take a 56-48 lead into the break. Finley hit consecutive 3-pointers and a short fadeaway during the surge for Dallas.

    Dallas used another late run to close out the third quarter, getting four straight points from Stackhouse and 3-pointer by Finley to take a 79-66 lead into the final quarter.

    The Bobcats didn't get a single free throw in the third quarter and appeared to be getting manhandled under the basket.

    The frustration boiled over when Gerald Wallace was called for his fourth foul with 9:14 to play. He argued the call, and was hit with a technical. After Stackhouse made his free throw, Wallace was called for his fifth foul on the inbounds play 3 seconds later.

    Wallace was taken out of the game, where he sat on the bench with a furious scowl on his face.

    "I'm just frustrated right now with the way I am playing," Wallace said.

    Heading into the fourth quarter, the Bobcats had attempted just five free throws. They ended 11-for-16.

    Dallas, on the other hand, was 25-of-31.

    Game notes


    Michael Jordan and Charles Oakley played golf in North Carolina earlier in the day, then watched the game in a suite. ... Howard, Stackhouse and Darrell Armstrong, all North Carolina natives, probably accounted for 100 tickets. ... The Bobcats have made it clear to opposing teams that they are not interested in trading Knight, or the majority of their players, to a contender. "We're going to ride it out. Our evaluation should come from a full season," Bickerstaff said. ... Sitting in between the usual contingent of NASCAR drivers and Carolina Panthers was actor Robby Benson.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DAL
    CHA
    Points 105 99
    FGM-FGA 38-79 (.481) 41-95 (.432)
    3PM-3PA 4-15 (.267) 6-14 (.429)
    FTM-FTA 25-31 (.806) 11-16 (.688)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-37 17-47
    Assists 17 23
    Turnovers 8 10
    Steals 2 3
    Blocks 9 5
    Fast Break Points 6 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (1/0) 25 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 14 8

    Top Performers

    Dallas
    Charlotte
    Jason Terry Terry
    Points: 17
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Emeka Okafor Okafor
    Points: 24
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2