Nowitzki’s 44 lead Mavericks over Bulls

DALLAS (AP)—Dirk Nowitzki scored 44 points, 14 in overtime, and the Dallas Mavericks overcame a hand injury to second-leading scorer Jason Terry for a 115-114 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

Nowitzki hit three straight jumpers on Dallas’ first three possessions of the overtime for a 103-99 lead, and the Mavericks went on to win for the fifth time in six games.

Chicago got within 113-111 with 3.8 seconds left in overtime on Tyrus Thomas’ 3-pointer.

But Nowitzki hit a pair of free throws with 2.9 seconds left to close out the Bulls, who got within one on Thomas’ 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

Nowitzki fell two points short of his season high set on Dec. 13 against Oklahoma City.

Ben Gordon scored 28 points, Thomas added 23 points and 12 rebounds, and rookie Derrick Rose had 22 points and nine assists for the Bulls.

Jose Juan Barea came off the bench to score 20 points for Dallas.

Terry sustained a broken bone in his left hand in the first half and missed the rest of the game. Terry started the night averaging 20.2 points per game.

He was ruled out at halftime after X-rays showed the break, finishing with eight points and four assists in 16 minutes. Terry told team officials he wasn’t sure when the injury occurred. His condition will be evaluated on Sunday.

Barea hit a 27-footer with 3.3 seconds left in the third quarter and Dallas was in front entering the final quarter 77-72.

Nowitzki missed nine of his first 10 field-goal attempts before getting untracked, making his final three shots of the second quarter and scoring Dallas’ last six points.

The Bulls took a 50-48 lead into the break.

Chicago got off to a 13-4 start capped by consecutive 3-pointers from Kirk Hinrich and the Bulls carried a 24-20 lead into the second quarter. Nowitzki was 1-for-7 from the floor in the opening quarter.

Notes

Bulls forward Drew Gooden continues to sit out with a left groin strain. He’s expected to consult with a sports hernia specialist next week in Chicago. … Dallas has won 19 of its past 22 games against Chicago.


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