Mavericks Rally Past Chicago
Dallas — Dirk Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left and the Dallas Mavericks rallied to beat the Chicago Bulls 100-98 yesterday.
The Mavericks trailed by 12 in the fourth quarter, but Nowitzki scored Dallas’ last eight points in a closing 15-1 run over the final 3½ minutes of the game. He finished with a season-high 35 points.
After Jimmy Butler missed two free throws with 15.9 seconds remaining, Nowitzki connected on the winning 3 with Luol Deng running at him. Chicago’s Nate Robinson then missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have tied it.
Robinson scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth in Chicago’s first game since ending the Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak.
Hawks 97, Magic 88
Atlanta — Ivan Johnson scored a season-high 21 points off the bench, and Devin Harris had 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter yesterday as Atlanta pulled away to beat Orlando.
The Hawks used their 27th different starting lineup in a game between short-handed teams, but the result was familiar. Atlanta (41-33) has beaten Orlando 10 straight times and is now fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, a half-game ahead of Chicago.
Atlanta took a 45-44 lead into halftime when Josh Smith beat the buzzer off an offensive rebound as time expired.
That capped a solid half for the Hawks power forward, who scored 14 of his 21 points in the first two periods.
Johnson, who received extended playing time largely because Hawks center Al Horford missed his second straight game with a stomach illness, added 10 rebounds.
The Magic (19-55) tied the scored late in the third quarter, but never regained the lead.
Beno Udrih, filling in for injured point guard Jameer Nelson, led Orlando with 20 points, and center Nikola Vucevic returned to the lineup with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Orlando outrebounded Atlanta 53-44, but was just 16 for 27 (59.3 percent) at the free throw line.