The Dallas Mavericks got a game-high 25 points from Jason Terry and held off a late charge by the Washington Wizards for a 105-99 victory on Saturday that marked the team’s fifth straight win.
Washington looked headed for a surprise win when a 19-foot jumper from Jordan Crawford capped an 8-0 Wizards run that tied the game at 97-97 with one minute, 36 seconds left.
However, Tyson Chandler got the Mavericks back in front with a putback, while Dirk Nowitzki and Terry each drained a pair of free throws that gave Dallas a 103-97 lead with 37 seconds remaining.
The teams exchanged the lead 10 times in a back-and-forth second quarter before the Mavericks seized control with a 21-9 run, after calling a timeout with five, 36 seconds remaining, and led 59-49 at halftime.
Chandler had a season-high 23 points and added 13 rebounds for a double-double, while John Wall, the top pick in last year’s NBA Draft, paced the Wizards with 24 points.
The Wizards struggled at the free-throw line missing 10-of-16 opportunities.
The win moved the Mavericks (42-16) to within six games of the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs, while the Wizards (15-43), losers of five straight, are second last in the Eastern Conference.
ROCKETS 123, NETS 108
In Houston, Texas, Kevin Martin scored 30 points, Chase Budinger added 27 and Houston beat the New Jersey Nets in the Rockets’ first game since trading away Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks.
Budinger took Battier’s spot in the starting lineup and went 8 for 11 from the field. Luis Scola added 23 points and seven -rebounds for the Rockets, who’ve won nine straight meetings with New Jersey.
Williams had 15 points and a season-high 17 assists for the Nets, who have lost five in a row and eight of 10.
New Jersey acquired Williams in a stunning trade with Utah on Wednesday, giving up point guard Devin Harris, rookie forward Derrick Favors, two first-round draft picks and US$3 million in cash.
Goran Dragic had six points and an assist in his first game for the Rockets, who dealt Battier to Memphis and Brooks to Phoenix just before Thursday’s deadline.
BULLS 83, BUCKS 75
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Luol Deng scored 19 points and Derrick Rose had 17, leading the surging Bulls to victory.
Chicago has won six of seven to improve to 15-4 since Jan. 14, putting pressure on Boston and Miami at the top of the Eastern Conference. Joakim Noah had eight points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored a second-high 16 points and John Salmons added 14 points for the Bucks.
In other NBA play, it was:
‧ Pistons 120, Jazz 116
‧ Grizzlies 120, Kings 92
‧ Celtics 99, Clippers 92