Mavs bounce back, beat Bulls

CHICAGO, IL -- Josh Howard scored 27 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 25 and the Dallas Mavericks hung on to beat the Chicago Bulls 103-98 on Monday night.

The Mavericks saw a 16-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle to three when Andres Nocioni hit three free throws to pull Chicago within 101-98 with 11.6 seconds left.

Jason Terry answered with two free throws, and Chicago's Kirk Hinrich shot an airball from the corner, bringing the game to a wild conclusion.

The league's reigning MVP, Nowitzki perked up after shooting just 5-of-15 in each of the previous two games. He was 9-of-17 against the Bulls.

Howard had 10 rebounds and six assists. Erick Dampier added 10 rebounds and six blocks, and Terry scored 18 points.

The Mavericks had to sweat this one out because of Nocioni and Hinrich.

Hinrich, who was benched in favor of Chris Duhon to start the second half, scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Nocioni had 14 of his 30 points in the fourth, and his two free throws and jumper pulled Chicago within 93-87 with 1:29 left in the game.