7:30 PM ET, January 4, 2007
American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
DALLAS (AP) -- Devin Harris didn't even think about taking jumpers. The skinny guard kept driving to the basket -- and scoring.
The Mavericks have won 12 straight games for the second time this season. Only 11 other NBA teams won 12 consecutive games twice in the same season, the most recent being the Heat in 2004-05. By posting their second 12-game winning streak in their 33rd game of the season, Dallas tied the record set by the Lakers in 1971-72 for fewest games needed to win 12 in a row twice.
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Harris scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter -- when he made all four of his shots on layups. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard scored on three straight drives in a 92-second span to put the Mavs ahead for good.
"We really pushed the ball in transition to get some easy baskets and I was able to finish," Harris said. "We mixed it up and got some easy baskets."
Terry had only one point and three turnovers while playing 19 minutes, a season low and 15 below his average. That's because coach Avery Johnson stuck with Harris.
"He saw I wasn't being aggressive, so he changed it and it worked," said Terry, who was 0-for-4 shooting.
Added Harris: "Nobody has a perfect game. That's what's good about our team. We pick each other up when it's needed."
It is the second 12-game winning streak this season for the Mavericks (26-7), who have the NBA's best record. The first dozen victories in a row came after the defending Western Conference champions started the season 0-4 for the first time in team history.
Dallas is the 36th team in NBA history with two double-digit winning streaks in the same season. The only team to accomplish it faster in a season was the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, who had a pair of 11-game winning streaks in the first 31 games.
Dallas had led only briefly twice before Harris had his three straight scoring drives.
Harris' first layup with nine minutes left got the Mavericks within 80-79. After Erick Dampier blocked a shot, Terry got the rebound and passed to Harris for a fast-break drive that put the Mavericks ahead to stay. After Indiana missed two more shots, Harris was fouled on another drive and hit two free throws for an 83-80 lead.
And Harris wasn't finished.
He drove for another layup with five minutes left to extend the lead to 90-85. After Al Harrington's turnover in the final minute, Harris punctuated his night with another breakaway, making the layup while being fouled and then adding the free throw to make it 100-89.
"They just out-executed us in those last 12 minutes," said Harrington, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Josh Howard, who has won back-to-back NBA player of the week awards, had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki, still bothered by sinus problems that forced him to miss a game Sunday, had 20 points in 36 minutes. Devean George had 13 points and four steals.
It was a career high in points for Harris in the regular season. He had a 30-point game in the playoffs last season.
Jermaine O'Neal had 20 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for the Pacers, who played their first game in 2007 after being off since a home loss to Charlotte on Saturday night. Jeff Foster had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
"Our undoing was five turnovers for nine points in the fourth quarter. They turned up the pressure on us and we needed to handle it better," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We showed that we can certainly play with this caliber of team, but to win you've got to be a little more solid in some areas."
Jerry Stackhouse, back after missing six games with a sprained left ankle, gave the Mavs their first lead when his 20-footer from the top of the key made it 37-36 with five minutes left in the first half.
Stephen Jackson hit a short turnaround jumper at the other end, but Stackhouse promptly made a 9-footer. Harrington then had a bad pass that Harris turned into a fast-break layup and a 41-38 lead, the largest for Dallas before halftime.
The Mavericks trailed by as many as nine points in the first quarter and finished with only 19. That matched their second-lowest scoring first quarter this season, but they were down by only five because of consecutive baskets by Anthony Johnson.
When Daniels made his first appearance in the game with 4½ minutes left in the first quarter, he received a nice ovation and then guarded Howard, his buddy. Daniels finished with 10 points.
Dallas plays Friday night at San Antonio. The Mavericks, with a three-game lead over the Spurs in the Southwest Division, are 7-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season. ... The Mavs have held 11 straight opponents under 100 points. ... Indiana had won three straight road games.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||35-81 (.432)||38-82 (.463)|
|3PM-3PA||2-14 (.143)||4-8 (.500)|
|FTM-FTA||19-24 (.792)||20-24 (.833)|
|Fast Break Points||14||16|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (1/0)||23 (0/0)|