Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/9

Game 1: Thursday, November 9th
Game 2: Thursday, December 28th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 14th
Game 4: Sunday, April 1st

Suns 99

(19-8, 8-5 away)

Mavericks 101

(22-7, 13-3 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    7:00 PM ET, December 28, 2006

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 20 29 27 2399
    DAL 30 22 26 23101

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: S. Nash 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 13 Ast

    Dallas: J. Terry 35 Pts, 3 Reb, 8 Ast, 3 Stl

    Terry scores 35 as Mavs win matchup of West powers

    DALLAS (AP) -- Jason Terry re-emerged late for the Dallas Mavericks, just when they needed him again.

    Elias Says
    Dirk Nowitzki
    Dirk Nowitzki's 19-footer with 1.3 seconds to play gave the Mavericks a 101-99 win over the Suns. Nowitzki has made his last three potential game-tying or go-ahead field-goal attempts in the last five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime after missing the first 13 such shots of his NBA career.

    • For more Elias Says, click here

    After scoring 32 of his season-high 35 points by the midpoint of the third quarter, Terry hit a big 3-pointer then set up Dirk Nowitzki's 19-footer with 1.3 seconds left in a 101-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night.

    "All respect goes to JT. He came out lights out shooting the ball, getting us into our offense and just running the team," Josh Howard said. "He was our general. Dirk and myself struggled, but at key plays, he found both guys and we finished the basket for him."

    The Mavericks (22-7), with the best record in the NBA, won their eighth straight game. The defending Western Conference champs are 22-3 since the first 0-4 start in team history.

    Nowitzki's game-winner came from the right wing over Shawn Marion.

    "I heard my number called. Shawn was guarding me and I was going to hold it a little longer, but I think he was a little surprised that I quick-shot it," Nowitzki said. "I wasn't shooting the ball well all night so I'm happy it went in."

    With 23 seconds left, Terry also had a nifty pass to Howard for an acrobatic layup that put the Mavs up 99-97.

    The Suns had one more chance after Nowitzki's shot. But after a timeout and the inbound pass, Amare Stoudemire's 22-foot shot bounded off the front of the rim as time expired. That ended Phoenix's eight-game road winning streak, one short of the team record.

    "It was about the best we could have expected in that situation," said Stoudemire, who finished with 25 points and 13 rebounds.

    Dallas and Phoenix (19-8) were a combined 2-9 -- with one victory each -- after the Mavericks won the first meeting Nov. 9. They met again as division leaders with the top two winning percentages in the NBA. That initial victory by the Mavs started a 12-game winning streak, and the Suns have since set a franchise record by winning 15 in a row.

    "It was a great game, the last bucket won it," said Steve Nash, the NBA MVP in both seasons since leaving Dallas for Phoenix. "Dirk's a clutch player and he made a big shot. ... It was pretty evenly matched teams. Little mistakes here and there cost us the game."

    Nash finished with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting with 13 assists -- including the last two game-tying baskets.

    An ally-oop pass from Nash led to Stoudemire's one-handed dunk with 1:07 left that tied the game at 97. Nash's more conventional pass to Marion led to a layup with 6.3 seconds left, and the Mavericks called timeout to set up their final play.

    "Dirk was the only option. We didn't have a plan B," coach Avery Johnson said. "We were trying to get him the ball. Just jokingly, we told Jason to try."

    Terry had eight assists and his second 30-point game of the season, both against the Suns. Nowitzki finished with 27 points on 8-of-20 shooting with 10 rebounds. Howard had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

    Terry scored 10 in the Mavs' 15-2 run that pushed them ahead 73-60 with five minutes left in the third quarter. Dallas then fell behind by as many as nine before Terry finally scored again -- hitting a 3-pointer with 2:09 left that put the Mavs ahead 95-94.

    Phoenix scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter, including consecutive 3-pointers by Jumaine Jones -- one from the right corner and the other from the left wing -- to put the Suns ahead 86-78. Before Stoudemire's breakaway slam that gave the Suns an 80-78 lead, they hadn't led since the first quarter.

    That ended a 29-8 run over a 7½-minute span. Stoudemire had nine of the points and Leandro Barbosa seven.

    Phoenix wiped out a 13-point deficit in the second quarter and tied the game at 47 on Raja Bell's 17-footer that came after Dallas came up empty on four straight possessions. But Terry had a steal and two assists to Nowitzki to keep the Suns from taking the lead after consecutive turnovers in a half-minute by Stoudemire.

    Game notes

    Mavericks C DeSagana Diop left with 9:37 left in the game and didn't return after sustaining a cut over his left eye when he was fouled by Marion. The Mavericks said Diop, who had to be helped from the court and into the locker room, was experiencing dizziness. He did come to the bench in the final minute... Jerry Stackhouse missed his third straight game for Dallas because of a sprained left ankle. He's not expected back until at least next week.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 99 101
    FGM-FGA 37-72 (.514) 35-85 (.412)
    3PM-3PA 9-14 (.643) 8-19 (.421)
    FTM-FTA 16-21 (.762) 23-29 (.793)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-37 15-41
    Assists 24 21
    Turnovers 22 18
    Steals 3 12
    Blocks 2 2
    Fast Break Points 9 15
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (1/0) 22 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 13

    Top Performers

    Steve Nash Nash
    Points: 24
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 13
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Jason Terry Terry
    Points: 35
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 0