ATLANTA (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points, Jason Terry added 15 and the Dallas Mavericks snapped a two-game skid with a 98-93 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
Hawks guard Joe Johnson couldn’t shake Tyson Chandler’s tight defense and misfired on a 3-point attempt that would’ve forced a tie with 2.5 seconds remaining.
Nowitzki followed with a pair of free throws to seal the victory for Dallas, which has won four of five on the road.
Al Horford finished with 20 points and 20 rebounds for the Hawks, whose two-game winning streak was snapped. Josh Smith scored 21 points and added six steals with five assists.
The Hawks, who twice trailed by 18, created some drama in the final minute.
After Atlanta’s Jamal Crawford disrupted Terry’s dribble at the top of the key, Smith grabbed the loose ball and fed Crawford for a layup that cut the Dallas lead to 94-93 with 15 seconds remaining.
But Terry answered 2 seconds later with a pair of free throws that made it a three-point lead, and Johnson missed the 3-pointer that could’ve tied it.
The Mavs took a different approach offensively, spreading the ball around instead of relying mostly on Nowitzki, who scored 65 total points in the last two losses.
Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson each added 13. Shawn Marion scored 12 and pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
Chandler’s fast-break dunk with 2:32 left in the first quarter gave Dallas its first lead at 22-21.
The Mavs’ first 18-point lead came on Butler’s 14-footer, which made it 53-35 late in the second quarter. Nowitzki’s jumper put Dallas ahead 71-53 with 5:08 left in the third.
Rookie Jordan Crawford hit a 3 that brought Atlanta within five to close a 22-9 run with 9:27 remaining, but the Hawks never could claim the lead.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)