Dallas Michael Finley needed only a few seconds to show how serious he was about winning this game.
With the Dallas Mavericks mired in a three-game losing streak, Finley chased down Friday night's opening tipoff, weaved between three stunned Sacramento Kings and scored in the paint.
He drilled a long jumper on the next possession and finished with 31 points, leading the Mavericks to a 101-97 victory and giving them 50 wins for the first time in 13 years.
"We just wanted to be the aggressor," said Finley, who gave his teammates a pregame speech. "Down the stretch and going into the playoffs, the aggressor is going to win. During the three-game losing streak, we were passive."
Mark Cuban, a long-suffering fan who bought the Mavericks last year, missed the milestone victory because he was suspended for making a gesture at officials during a loss Wednesday. The Internet billionaire probably watched the game on his computer it was the first pro sports contest broadcast in streaming video over the Internet. The Webcast was available in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
Viewers saw Juwan Howard match Finley's intensity, while contributing 26 points and 12 rebounds. In third and fourth quarters, the pair scored 28 of 36 Dallas points as the Mavericks built their lead to 97-84.
"We were focused," said Howard, who had 32 points in a 119-107 victory over the Kings two weeks ago. "Mike set the tone and we fed off his energy."
Dallas (50-29) regained the fifth seed in the Western Conference by a half-game over Portland (50-30), which lost to Houston 109-103. Phoenix, meanwhile, beat Seattle 109-100 to improve to 49-30.
The Kings, coming off an overtime victory in San Antonio on Thursday, slid to only a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the lead in the Pacific Division.
Chris Webber had 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Kings, who were making their first bid for a team-record-tying 55th victory.
Clippers 111, Timberwolves 105
Los Angeles Eric Piatkowski hit all five of his three-point tries and scored 26 points as Los Angeles beat Minnesota before a franchise-record 10th sellout crowd of the season for the Clippers.
Knicks 101, Hawks 65
New York Othella Harrington had his highest-scoring game since joining the Knicks, tallying 18 points as New York cruised over Atlanta.
Wizards 113, Magic 110
Washington Tracy McGrady's career-high 49 points were not enough to lead Orlando past woeful Washington. Richard Hamilton scored 30 points, and Christian Laettner matched his season-high with 26 as the Wizards ended a six-game losing streak by beating the Magic.
Cavaliers 97, Nets 91
East Rutherford, N.J. Andre Miller scored 26 points and hit two big baskets in the final minute as Cleveland broke a 12-game road losing streak. Lamond Murray added 22 points for the Cavaliers, who closed the game with a 19-6 run to win on the road for the first time since beating Detroit 101-94 on Feb. 25.
Raptors 94, Heat 82
Toronto Vince Carter scored 27 points, including his 5,000th in the NBA, as Toronto beat Miami to end the Heat's five-game winning streak. Antonio Davis scored 11 of his 25 points in the decisive third quarter and added 13 rebounds.
Rockets 109, Trail Blazers 103
Portland, Ore. Steve Francis had 32 points and 10 assists as Houston dropped Portland into the No. 6 playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Suns 109, SuperSonics 100
Phoenix Jason Kidd had 30 points, 17 assists and nine rebounds as Phoenix extended its home winning streak to seven games. Shawn Marion added 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Cliff Robinson also scored 20 for Phoenix.
Nuggets 108, Warriors 92
Denver George McCloud scored 24 points and Robert Pack had the first triple-double by a Denver player in four years as the Nuggets beat Golden State. Pack finished with 12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Mark Jackson had the most recent Denver triple-double on Jan. 28, 1997. Raef LaFrentz had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Pacers 113, Celtics 108, OT
Indianapolis Reggie Miller got angry, then he got even. Called for a technical foul while on the bench in the third quarter, Miller scored 10 of his 29 points in the fourth period and added a pair of clinching free throws with three seconds left in overtime.
Jazz 94, Bulls 83
Chicago Karl Malone delivered again, scoring 21 of his 32 points in the second half as Utah pulled away in the closing minutes and beat Chicago. Malone shot 13-of-22 from the field and also had 10 rebounds and six assists. Danny Manning scored 16 points, including seven in the closing run.