4-08-08 -- Jason Terry scored 22 points, Josh Howard added 17, and the Dallas Mavericks crept closer to a playoff berth with a 99-83 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday night.
The Mavericks came into the game with a two-game lead over Denver and Golden State in the race for seventh place in the Western Conference.
Dallas couldn’t shake the lowly Sonics—who lost their club-record 60th game—until it went on an 18-4 run to build a 20-point advantage in the fourth.
Brandon Bass scored 13 off the bench for the Mavericks, and Dirk Nowitzki chipped in with 11 points and 12 rebounds in his fourth game since returning from knee and ankle injuries.
Earl Watson had 22 points and eight assists for Seattle. Kevin Durant added 16 points, and Jeff Green and Nick Collison each had 11.
Watson hit a jumper that brought Seattle within 73-67 early in the fourth quarter. But Nowitzki started Dallas’ fourth-quarter surge with a 3-pointer and a jumper to extend the lead to 78-67.
The Sonics inched within 80-71 when Watson connected on an another jumper before the Mavericks scored the next 11 points. Terry capped the run with a pair of layups as the Mavericks beat the Sonics for the 13th straight time, dating to Dec. 9, 2004.
Terry, shot 9-of-11, scored 12 points in the first half as the Mavericks led 46-44 at halftime. The Sonics got within one early in the second half before the Mavericks started building their lead.
Howard’s three-point play gave the Mavericks a 70-60 cushion before Durant answered with one of his own to cut the lead to seven after three quarters.
Mavericks coach Avery Johnson expects F Jerry Stackhouse (right groin strain) to return to full-contact practice by the end of the week. Stackhouse participated in the team shootaround Tuesday morning and has had some non-contact practice. “He did OK,” Johnson said. “I hope he can return to full-contact by Friday.” Dallas was also without F Malik Allen (back spasms), who missed his second straight game. … Seattle F Donyell Marshall (right knee soreness) missed the game. He had an MRI Tuesday, and Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said Marshall’s status is day-to-day. … Seattle’s previous record for losses in a season was 59 its inaugural campaign, 1967-68.