Tue, Apr 01, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Nowitzki excels, stuns Timberwolves

MAKING THE PLAYS The Dallas Mavericks star was scoring at the rate of nearly a point-a-minute for half the game as Minnesota Timberwolves took another beating


Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki grabs a rebound against Minnesota on Sunday, at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Mavericks won 119-95.


Dirk Nowitzki scored 33 points in 34 minutes as the Dallas Mavericks beat the lethargic Minnesota Timberwolves 119-95 on Sunday afternoon.

Steve Nash had a season-high 15 assists to go with 14 points in three quarters, and reserve Nick Van Exel contributed 19 points and nine assists for the Mavericks, who led 100-71 after the third period.

Minnesota, equaling its season high with three straight losses, missed another chance to clinch a seventh straight playoff berth. Kevin Garnett had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Wolves.

Minnesota's Rasho Nesterovic, in his second game back after missing five with a sprained ankle, had nine of his 11 points in the first half but was a step behind Shawn Bradley and Raef LaFrentz on the other end.

Raptors 95, Knicks 86

In Toronto, Vince Carter scored 28 points as the Toronto Raptors beat New York, hurting the Knicks' slim playoff hopes.

Allan Houston had 24 points for the Knicks, who have lost three straight and four of five. Latrell Sprewell scored just four points and was benched for the entire fourth quarter when the Knicks cut a 19-point deficit to four.

New York trails eighth-place Washington by three games and is two-and-a-half games behind ninth-place Milwaukee. The Bucks and Wizards played later Sunday.

Carter added nine rebounds and six assists and made a spectacular 360-degree dunk in the first half.

Alvin Williams had 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, who have won just three of their last 13.

Bucks 109, Heat 87

In Milwaukee, Gary Payton had 24 points and Sam Cassell had 23 points and nine assists as the Milwaukee Bucks snapped a three-game losing streak, using a big first half to defeat the Miami Heat.

Toni Kukoc added 18 points, Michael Redd 14 and Desmond Mason had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Milwaukee, whose reserves outscored Miami's 47-25.

Rookie Caron Butler led the Heat with 24 points, Mike James added 15 and Eddie House 12, but it wasn't enough to keep the Heat from losing their 12th game in the last 16.

Pacers 92, Suns 81

In Indianapolis, Jermaine O'Neal had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Ron Artest had 20 points as the Indiana Pacers led by as many as 17 points and defeated the Phoenix Suns.

The Pacers have won two straight games after dropping 15 of 19 to fall into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They have two games left with teams ahead of them in the standings -- Detroit on April 4 and New Jersey on April 16.

Indiana is starting to show signs of playing like the team that was 22 games over .500, not the one plagued the last two months by injury, suspension and off-court distractions.

Phoenix's Shawn Marion finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds, Joe Johnson had 19 points and Amare Stoudemire 15.

Pistons 99, Kings 88

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, the Detroit Pistons dominated when it mattered most, closing the game with a 15-1 run.

Cliff Robinson scored 21 points and Corliss Williamson had 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter for the Pistons, who trailed by 21 midway through the second quarter and by 10 after three quarters.

Detroit outscored Sacramento 14-3 to open the fourth quarter and take a 81-80 lead -- its first since the opening minutes -- with 7:32 left. The Kings went ahead 87-84 on Peja Stojakovic's layup with 5:08 left, but then scored only one point the rest of the way.

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