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Mavericks Rally to Stay Unbeaten

November 24, 2002|From Associated Press

DALLAS — Anyone who doubts whether the Dallas Mavericks are the NBA's best team might think differently after seeing how they won their 13th in a row.

Trailing by 16 points late in the third quarter, their zone defense failing and their offensive touch missing, the Mavericks put everything together in a thrilling fourth quarter to pull out a 115-105 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday night.

Led by Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Steve Nash, Dallas used an 18-1 run to catapult into the lead. Seattle went ahead once, but the Mavericks answered on their next possession to continue the best roll in franchise history.

"To find a way to win games like this is a sign of a champion," said Finley, who had 29 points and 11 rebounds. "We found a way tonight."

Dallas' hot streak is the fourth-best in league history. The only three teams that have done better all made it to the NBA Finals.

The Mavericks will try to match the 14-0 start by Boston in 1957-58 when they play at Detroit on Wednesday. They could be going for the record of 15-0 -- set by Washington in 1948-49 and tied by Houston in 1993-94 -- on Thursday at Indiana.

The SuperSonics led by 16 points in the first quarter, and also late in the third quarter, silencing a crowd of 20,011.

"You have to be aggressive," Seattle Coach Nate McMillan said. "We did that for three quarters and then we got back on our heels."



Best Starts

The longest winning streaks at the beginning of a season in NBA history:

*--* 15 Washington Capitols 1948-49 15 Houston Rockets 1993-94 14 Boston Celtics 1957-58 13 Dallas Mavericks 2002-03 12 Seattle SuperSonics 1982-83 12 Chicago Bulls 1996-97


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