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Kings Handle Mavericks Again

February 05, 2003|From Associated Press

DALLAS — Despite their league-best record, the Dallas Mavericks have been saying all season that the Sacramento Kings are the team to beat in the NBA. The Kings again showed why Tuesday night.

Although Sacramento had lost two in a row and five of six, Keon Clark's high-flying dunk off a missed three-point attempt with 16.5 seconds left gave the Kings a 110-109 victory over the Mavericks in a thrilling showdown of Western Conference division leaders.

Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki recovered from missing his first eight shots to finish with 28 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. But he missed his last shot, a 10-footer in the lane after spinning away from Peja Stojakovic and getting a good look at the basket in the closing seconds.

Doug Christie grabbed the rebound with about three seconds left and dribbled away in celebration.

Sacramento defeated Dallas by 29 points three weeks ago, leading the entire game. This one was impressive in its own way, considering the Kings had been playing so poorly and were without Chris Webber, who had a triple-double in the previous meeting.

"We didn't want to go into the All-Star break like we've been playing the last couple of games," said Mike Bibby, who led the Kings with 27 points. "Everyone stepped up for us tonight. We came out with energy and everything turned out great."

The Mavericks had won four in a row and seven of eight, including consecutive games decided in the final minutes.

Dallas still goes into the All-Star break at 38-10, five losses fewer than anyone else, but the Mavericks have a 0-3 record against Sacramento and the San Antonio Spurs.

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