Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/9

Game 1: Thursday, December 9th
SuperSonics107Final
Mavericks102
Game 2: Sunday, February 13th
Mavericks95Final
SuperSonics92
Game 3: Wednesday, April 13th
Mavericks95Final
SuperSonics90
Game 4: Tuesday, April 19th
SuperSonics96Final
Mavericks101

Mavericks 95

(54-24, 26-12 away)

SuperSonics 90

(50-28, 25-15 home)

    7:30 PM ET, April 13, 2005

    Key Arena, Seattle, WA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 25 21 26 2395
    SEA 17 28 25 2090

    Top Performers

    Dallas: D. Nowitzki 31 Pts, 7 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Seattle: R. Allen 19 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast

    Dirk's 31 pace Dallas to fifth win in a row

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Avery Johnson is insisting on strong defense and his Dallas Mavericks are buying into the idea.

    Behind 31 points from All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks improved to 12-2 with Johnson as head coach after a 95-90 win over the Seattle SuperSonics Wednesday night. It was Dallas' fifth straight victory.

    "He preaches defense 24 hours a day," Dallas guard Jason Terry said. "We want to be a defensive team. It's a work in progress and we're not there yet."

    Since Johnson took over, Dallas (54-24) has been holding teams to just 91 points per game. Seattle shot just 40 percent, and leading scorer Ray Allen was harassed into a 7-for-20 shooting performance.

    It was Seattle's sixth straight loss and kept the SuperSonics (50-28) from clinching the Northwest Division title. Seattle needs one win or a loss by Denver for its first division title since 1998.

    Seattle has not won since beating Portland on April 1.

    "We were right there," Seattle coach Nate McMillan said. "We just didn't do a good job of executing."

    Nowitzki was tough late as Dallas held off one final Seattle charge. He made two free throws with 1:14 left to break an 87-87 tie. Allen made one free throw for Seattle with 58 seconds left and Terry followed with a baseline jumper to give the Mavericks a 91-88 lead.

    Seattle's Antonio Daniels missed a jumper with 39 seconds left and Nowitzki hit a 16-footer from the baseline with 17 seconds remaining to put the game away. He added two free throws in the final seconds as Dallas improved to 20-2 when Nowitzki scores at least 30 points.

    "Obviously we would have liked an easier win, but they played well and came back on us," Nowitzki said. "We did the things we need to do down the stretch to win the game."

    Allen finished with 19 points for Seattle, but was held to just three points in the fourth quarter. Daniels returned from an injury to add 17.

    Terry scored 15 points for Dallas, while Jerry Stackhouse added 14 off the bench, Keith Van Horn scored 12 and Erick Dampier had 10. Dallas won despite going 17-of-29 from the free throw line and getting outrebounded 45-30.

    "I felt like we showed a lot of heart," Daniels said. "We just have to win. We can't be looking over our shoulder back at Denver."

    The banged up SuperSonics welcomed back All-Star Rashard Lewis and key reserves Daniels and Danny Fortson from injuries, hoping to wrap up the division and perhaps give players an opportunity to rest heading into the playoffs.

    Lewis missed the last eight games with a deep bone bruise on his right foot. He showed early signs of rust, missing his first four shots, but finished with 12 points in 36 minutes. He had not played since March 27.

    "I was told right before the game I could play him 30 (minutes) as opposed to 20 to 25," McMillan said. "He looked like he was winded and I thought at the end he was moving a little slow ... but that's to be expected coming back after being off for so long."

    The SuperSonics' best chance at clinching the division may come Friday night when they host New Orleans in their home finale. Seattle closes the season with road games at Minnesota, Dallas and Houston.

    Dallas led by as many as 11 points early in the second half, but Seattle rallied behind 10 third-quarter points from Jerome James. The SuperSonics took their first lead at 75-73 with 8:11 left on Lewis' layup.

    Behind Nowitzki, the Mavericks scored nine of the next 11 points to go ahead 82-77. It was Seattle's second-straight home loss to Dallas, losing 95-92 on Feb. 13.

    "That's a tough game to swallow," Daniels said. "For the second time we've played those guys and felt we had them, but they hit some shots."

    Game notes


    Daniels missed the last three games with a left knee injury, and Fortson sat out the last two with a left shoulder sprain. Both entered the game with 3:33 left in the first quarter. ... Stackhouse returned after he was suspended for Monday's win over Memphis for "conduct detrimental to the team." ... Johnson started his career with Seattle in 1988 on a team that included future NBA head coaches McMillan and John Lucas.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    DAL
    SEA
    Points 95 90
    FGM-FGA 36-70 (.514) 33-81 (.407)
    3PM-3PA 6-17 (.353) 7-25 (.280)
    FTM-FTA 17-29 (.586) 17-22 (.773)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-30 16-45
    Assists 18 18
    Turnovers 9 11
    Steals 7 2
    Blocks 2 3
    Fast Break Points 17 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (0/0) 27 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 12 5

    Top Performers

    Dallas
    Seattle
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 31
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 19
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0