Nowitzki had 31 points and 11 rebounds and Finley added 23 points and a season-high 11 rebounds, leading Dallas to a 95-92 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Sunday night.
"Down the stretch, the zone was really working for us," Nowitzki said. "We contested every shot and we finally started getting the rebounds we needed after they'd pounded us on the offensive glass all night."
The Mavericks won a thriller, snapping Seattle's five-game winning streak after the Sonics couldn't protect an 11-point lead in the final 5:15 and scored only two free throws in the last 4:40.
"We took quick shots and we didn't make them work on the defensive end," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "On top of that, we made some mistakes on the defensive end -- turning the ball over and not matching up, getting stops when you need to."
Erick Dampier added 19 points and 14 rebounds and Howard had 10 points for Dallas, which trailed 89-78 with 5:14 remaining and 90-80 with 4:40 to go. Finley scored six points in a game-ending 15-2 run, and Terry swished a 3-pointer with 8.7 seconds left to put Dallas up 94-92.
"The ball ended up in hands and I knocked it down, but it was a total team effort," said Terry, a Seattle native who distributed 75 tickets to friends and relatives.
Two nights earlier, Terry made a late three-point play -- the difference in a 115-113 win at Sacramento.
"Terry has been making that shot," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "He has made big shots for us all season long."
Rashard Lewis led Seattle with 18 points and Luke Ridnour added 17 points and eight assists on his 24th birthday. Antonio Daniels scored 14 points, but the Sonics couldn't survive an off-night by
Ray Allen, who had 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
"My shot wasn't falling but we had control of the game in the fourth quarter," Allen said. "It got away from us. We could have won that game, regardless of what was going on with me."
The Mavericks improved to 12-0 when Nowitzki and Finley each score at least 20 points.
"Down the stretch, we got those rebounds and pushed it right up on them," Nowitzki said. "There was a little bit of luck, as always, but it was a great run."
It seemed safe for Seattle after Lewis made a 3-pointer and
Vladimir Radmanovic added a free throw, putting the Sonics up 90-80 lead with 4:40 to play.
"We got some good looks at the basket and we didn't knock shots down," Daniels said. "We also didn't execute as well as we're used to."
Dallas used six straight free throws and -- after two foul shots by Ridnour -- Finley made an acrobatic shot in the lane to pull the Mavericks to 92-88 with 1:46 remaining.
After a free throw by Terry, Radmanovic was short on a 3-point try. Nowitzki collected the rebound and scored at the other end, pulling Dallas to 92-91 with 51 seconds to go.
Then came Howard's big play, knocking away a shot when Daniels drove the baseline.
"It was all instinct," Howard said. "They didn't see the corner man, my man, so I just took a chance. I got a good block."
The Mavericks tried to go to Nowitzki, but he was smothered by Allen and Radmanovic. The ball swung out to Terry, who swished a 3-pointer to put Dallas up 94-91 with 8.7 seconds to go.
"He wasn't on the 3-point line. He was a couple of steps behind it," Nowitzki said. "That was a great shot, for sure. He's one of the best shooters in the league."
Terry signed autographs for 10 minutes before tipoff. ... Seattle forward Danny Fortson served the second night of a two-game suspension for throwing a chair as he left the floor in Thursday's home win over Sacramento. ... Dallas forward Jerry Stackhouse sat on the bench in street clothes, unable to play because of a right groin injury.