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It's Hit, Miss Time at Dallas

January 22, 2002|From Associated Press

DALLAS — For two quarters, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd matched each other shot for shot--miss for miss.

Ten consecutive misses for Nowitzki. Even more for Kidd.

Nowitzki broke out of his slump first, scoring nine consecutive points during a 17-1 run in the closing minutes, carrying the Dallas Mavericks past the New Jersey Nets, 113-105, Monday afternoon.

"They were playing good defense on me," said Nowitzki, who scored 39 points despite going more than 27 minutes between field goals.

"I just had to stay aggressive and get my rhythm back."

Kidd never found his.

He missed his first 16 shots and made a three-point basket with 25 seconds to play for his only points.

Kidd had eight rebounds and 15 assists, including the 5,000th of his career.

"I missed a couple of shots in the beginning and I stopped having confidence for some odd reason," Kidd said. "Even though I didn't shoot good, we had a chance to win."

The Nets, atop the Eastern Conference despite a worse record (27-13) than Dallas, the West's fifth-place team, lost for only the second time in nine games.

Dallas improved to 29-12, the franchise's best record at the midway point.

Juwan Howard scored 22 points for Dallas and Steve Nash had 19.

Lucious Harris led New Jersey with a season-best 23 points.

Keith Van Horn had 13 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for the Nets, and Kenyon Martin had 21 points and six rebounds.

The Mavericks were without Coach Don Nelson, who left to be with his wife, Joy, who had surgery Monday for breast cancer.

Nelson's son, Donnie, replaced him as coach.

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