Archive for Wednesday, February 12, 2003

NBA Roundup: Late shot dooms Mavericks

Timberwolves squander lead, but prevail, 100-98

February 12, 2003

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— It wasn't just the aggressive fast breaks and the pounding of the ball into the paint that got the Minnesota Timberwolves past the perimeter-oriented Dallas Mavericks.

A perfectly designed inbounds play made the biggest difference against the team with the NBA's best record.

Wally Szczerbiak made a corner jumper as the final buzzer sounded Tuesday night, giving the Timberwolves a 100-98 victory after they lost a 17-point third-quarter lead.

"I hope we can just keep this going," said Szczerbiak, who had 21 points, nailing his shot from 17 feet to give the Timberwolves their 10th straight home victory.

On an inbounds play with 1.6 seconds left, Szczerbiak set a jarring screen on Eduardo Najera for Kevin Garnett and darted to the corner.

"That's the shot Wally always makes," said Minnesota's Anthony Peeler.

Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points and Michael Finley had all 21 of his points in the second half for Dallas, which had its four-game road winning streak stopped.

The Mavericks, who trailed by as many as 19 in the first half, led 98-95 on a basket by Nowitzki with 1:35 remaining. Garnett -- who had 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists -- converted a three-point play to tie the game with 1:17 left.

Dallas had three chances to take the lead, and Minnesota had three of its own -- finally seizing it on Szczerbiak's shot.

Finley, for all his success in the second half, made a mistake on the Mavs' last possession by rushing a three-pointer that bounced high off the rim and over the backboard with 8.7 seconds left.

"It was a stupid play," Finley said. "I wasn't thinking out there."

Said a smiling Szczerbiak: "Oh, boy. I couldn't imagine what our coaches would say if we took that shot."

Garnett, the MVP of Sunday's All-Star Game after scoring 37 points in 41 minutes, received a hearty ovation during the introductions and helped the Wolves surge ahead with 11 points in the first quarter.

Kings 99, Wizards 80

Sacramento, Calif. -- Peja Stojakovic had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Doug Christie had 16 points and 12 rebounds as Sacramento opened a seven-game homestand with a victory against Washington. Michael Jordan, in his first game since his celebratory All-Star weekend in Atlanta, had 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting before sitting out the fourth quarter.

Pacers 107, Cavaliers 96

Indianapolis -- Jermaine O'Neal scored 28 points and Brad Miller had 25 as Indiana opened the second half with Ron Artest back in the lineup and coach Isiah Thomas on the sidelines. Artest completed a four-game suspension and Thomas had served a two-game suspension. Even during the All-Star break, the pair were making news. Thomas, who coached the East, angered Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas by playing him only four minutes during Sunday's All-Star game.

Jazz 103, Rockets 101, OT

Houston -- Karl Malone scored 33 points, including 14 in a fourth-quarter comeback, as Utah rallied for am overtime victory against Houston. Utah trailed 83-75 with 7:43 left.

Celtics 82, SuperSonics 76

Seattle -- Antoine Walker had 17 points and 12 rebounds as Boston let a big lead slip away before beating the SuperSonics in Vin Baker's return to Seattle. After trailing by 23 points early in the third quarter, the Sonics closed to 71-70 on Rashard Lewis' three-point play with 3:13 left. But Boston scored 11 of the game's final 17 points to hand Seattle its fourth straight defeat. Baker, who was traded to the Celtics last July, had nine points and three rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.

Magic 92, Nets 83

Orlando, Fla. -- Tracy McGrady had 32 points and eight rebounds and Orlando withstood a late rally to defeat New Jersey. The Magic began the fourth quarter with a 15-2 run, opening a 12-point lead, then held on down the stretch with Darrell Armstrong delivering a clutch three-point shot and Pat Garrity adding a three-point play after the Nets cut their deficit to 83-81 with 1:40 to go.

Hornets 78, Heat 69

Miami -- Jamal Mashburn couldn't match his offensive pace from before the All-Star break, but New Orleans relied on its defense for a victory over Miami. Mashburn, who averaged 31.7 points in his three previous games, finished with 15 on 6-for-18 shooting to help the Hornets to their third straight win. Mashburn also had 13 rebounds and three assists.

Warriors 116, Hawks 113

Atlanta -- Gilbert Arenas scored a career-high 37 points and made a key steal and layup with 20 seconds left to lead Golden State past Atlanta. Dion Glover tied his career-high with 28 points.

Pistons 89, Bulls 79

Chicago -- Ben Wallace followed up his busy All-Star weekend with 22 rebounds, and Chauncey Billups scored 20 points as Detroit beat Chicago for its fifth straight victory. The loss was Chicago's first at home since Jan. 2, snapping a five-game winning streak, and fans booed as the clock ran out. The Pistons have now beaten the Bulls in 16 of their last 18 meetings, and are 6-0 at the United Center since January 2000.

Lakers 121, Nuggets 93

Los Angeles -- Kobe Bryant made it six straight games of 35 points or more by scoring 42 despite sitting out the fourth quarter as Los Angeles extended its winning streak to a season-high six. Bryant has scored 243 points (40.5 average) during the streak. He played 31 minutes against the Nuggets, shooting 12-of-20.

Spurs 116, Blazers 111, OT

Portland, Ore. -- Emmanuel Ginobili hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 42 seconds left in overtime -- his only field goal of the game -- as San Antonio defeated Portland. Ginobili's shot came on the Spurs' third chance during that possession. San Antonio was able to grab two offensive rebounds to keep the possession alive, even though Portland contended Tim Duncan committed an over-the-back foul on one of them.

Clippers 107, Suns 106

Phoenix -- Elton Brand, Quentin Richardson and Andre Miller led a fourth-quarter rally that propelled Los Angeles past Phoenix. The Clippers, who had lost six straight road games and were only 7-17 away from home, trailed by five points starting the final period.

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