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Nowitzki nets 27 as Mavs win 13th straight in blowout

DALLAS (AP) -- Once the first 3-pointer went in for Jason Terry,
he was ready to shoot again -- and again.

With some impressive ball movement and an aggressive approach by
Terry to start the second half, the Dallas Mavericks did more than
extend their NBA-best winning streak to 13 games. They showed they
could win decisively against another division leader, beating Miami
112-76 on Thursday night.

"We just focused on coming out in the second half and not
letting up," Jerry Stackhouse said. "We wanted to try extend our
lead as opposed to just exchanging baskets."

Dallas did just that when Terry scored 11 points in the first 4
minutes of the second half.

Terry made his first four shots after halftime -- three
3-pointers and another long-range shot with his foot on the line --
to increase Dallas' 13-point halftime lead to 68-45. Dirk Nowitzki
then had consecutive 3-pointers, the second on an assist from
Terry.

"Guys were making the extra pass. I was open and knocked them
down," Terry said. "We wanted to stay aggressive."

The Mavericks' winning streak, one short of a team record,
coincides with their franchise-record stretch of holding 13
straight opponents under 100 points. No team has beaten them or
broken the century mark against the Mavericks since their 117-115
loss at the New York Knicks on Jan. 11.

"I've never really gotten excited about games too much in
February," coach Avery Johnson said. "But at the same time,
obviously the guys are doing a lot of positive things on the court.
You'd be crazy not to think so."

Dallas goes for its 14th win in a row Friday night at Denver.
That would match a team record, set when the Mavs started 14-0 in
2002-03, a season in which they advanced to the Western Conference
finals.

It was the worst loss of the season for the Heat, who had won
five of the previous six games.

"It was absolutely painful," coach Pat Riley said.

"It is just a little old fashion Texas beat down," said
Shaquille O'Neal, who led the Heat with 23 points and eight
rebounds. "They were three steps ahead of us. They had more
energy."

Miami is still 20-10 since O'Neal returned from a sprained right
ankle Dec. 11, one game before Riley returned as coach.

Nowitzki led the Mavs with 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting, and
Terry had 16 points. Neither played in the fourth quarter.

Dwyane Wade scored 16 points, falling short of his 12th straight
20-point game for Miami. His 11 in a row were a team and personal
record.

The Mavericks scored a season-high 38 points in the third
quarter to lead 89-63. Nowitzki and Terry, selected this week to
participate in the NBA's 3-point Shootout during All-Star weekend
in Houston, didn't play after that.

Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse and Keith Van Horn all had 14
points for Dallas. Erick Dampier added seven points and 11
rebounds.

Miami had 19 turnovers that led to 33 points. The Mavericks
never trailed after scoring the game's first seven points -- after
three turnovers, two by O'Neal.

After closing an early gap by making eight straight shots, Miami
gave it all back by missing seven in a row during a 10-0 run by the
Mavericks. A slam dunk by Dampier behind O'Neal made it 35-21 with
8:33 left.

Riley quickly called timeout, but the Heat got only one point
closer before halftime.

Like he did with 2.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter,
Stackhouse made another 3-pointer from the left corner to end the
second quarter. His long-range shot with 1.3 seconds left made it
51-38.

The Heat had better results after Riley's first timeout five
minutes into the game. That came after they missed their first four
shots and trailed 11-2.

Wade penetrated for a short jumper after the timeout for the
first of eight straight field goals Miami made. Udonis Haslem
scored all six of his first-half points during that stretch before
a pass to Shandon Anderson driving the lane for a layup that made
it 23-19.

The Heat never got closer.

Game Notes
After playing Northwest Division leader Denver on Friday
night, Dallas plays nine of its next 10 games at home. ... Wade
scored in double figures for the 52nd straight game, a career high.
... The Mavericks have led after the first quarter in 14 straight
home games. ... Miami still leads the series 20-19, which includes
16 wins in a row by the Heat from January 1992 through December
1999. The Mavs have won nine of the last 12.