Kidd shines in first game in Dallas

2-25-08 - Welcome back Jason Kidd.

In his first home game with the Dallas Mavericks in more than 11 years, Kidd had 11 points with nine rebounds and eight assists in a 102-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 29 points for the Mavericks, who never trailed after Kidd had an assist on Josh Howard’s 3-pointer that opened the scoring a minute into the game and won their 11th straight home game.

Kidd came up short of his 100th career triple-double, but was involved in significant plays throughout the game as Chicago kept coming back from double-digit deficit.

After Ben Gordon’s 3-pointer got the Bulls within 86-77, Kidd saved a loose ball on the Dallas end and got it to Nowitzki for a 3-pointer with about 5 minutes left.

Before Chicago had closed to nine, the Mavericks had scored eight straight points: Josh Howard drove for a short jumper, Nowitzki grabbed a rebound and threw a long pass ahead to Jason Terry for a breakway layup, then Terry had a steal and threw a similar pass to Kidd for a layup before Nowitzki’s jumper.

Jerry Stackhouse has 23 points and Howard had 16 while Terry had 11 points and six assists. Before fouling out with 1:18 left, Erick Dampier set season highs with 16 rebounds and seven blocked shots.

Gordon had 25 points to lead five Chicago players in double figures. Drew Gooden had 17 and Larry Hughes had 14. Luol Deng and Thabo Sefolosha were the only Bulls starters in double figures, with 10 points each.

The Bulls were within 62-59 after Gordon hit two free throws with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Mavericks then scored 10 straight points, a run started with two rebounds by Kidd.

Kidd’s first rebound led to a 16-foot jumper by Brandon Bass, but Kidd wasn’t the only Maverick giving up the ball to teammates.

Terry then stepped into the paint and made a bounce pass back to Nowitzki for a 3-pointer, and after a steal made a lob pass to Stackhouse for an easy layup. After a Kidd steal, he went shared the ball with Terry, before Nowitzki hit another 3-pointer.

Kidd, the No. 2 overall pick by Dallas in 1994, played his first home game as a Maverick since Dec. 17, 1996, in a game at Reunion Arena, where the team played before moving to the more elaborate American Airlines Center in 2001.

Making sure fans could properly welcome him back, Kidd was the last of the Mavericks starters introduced. That spot usually belongs to Nowitzki.

Kidd got a loud rousing ovation and right away had the fans cheering again with the assist on Howard’s 3-pointer. Then he followed a few minutes later with a steal after which he drove toward the lane, spun and passed back to Nowitzki, who hit the jumper.

Gordon’s 14-foot jumper with 5:36 left in the first half got the Bulls within 38-33, and capped a 12-0 run in which he scored nine points.

The Mavericks responded with eight straight, Kidd’s driving layup making it 46-33. Stackhouse hit a long buzzer-beating 3-pointer before halftime for a 53-43 lead.