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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DALLAS 26 31 19 35 111 PHOENIX 31 29 20 30 110 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 33, DIRK NOWITZKI 24, CEDRIC CEBALLOS 21 PHO - CLIFF ROBINSON 30, JASON KIDD 25, TODD DAY 18

HIGH REBOUND: DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 13, TWO PLAYERS WITH 9 PHO - CLIFF ROBINSON 9, OLIVER MILLER 8

HIGH ASSISTS: DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 13, TWO PLAYERS WITH 3 PHO - JASON KIDD 15, CLIFF ROBINSON 6

ATT: 19,023


Extended Box

DALLAS (111) AT PHOENIX (110)

DALLAS REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

NOWITZKI F 43 10-17 2-4 4 5 9 3 3 0 3 24 TRENT F 33 6-12 1-2 2 4 6 2 2 1 2 13 BRADLEY C 20 1-3 0-0 1 8 9 3 4 0 2 2 DAVIS G 41 3-6 0-0 0 1 1 1 3 1 2 6 FINLEY G 48 12-25 7-8 6 7 13 13 2 4 7 33 CEBALLOS 28 8-12 3-4 3 4 7 1 0 0 1 21 ROOKS 12 1-3 0-0 1 0 1 1 3 0 0 2 JONES 15 3-7 2-2 1 1 2 2 0 0 2 10 HUGHES DNP - COACH'S DECISION NASH DNP - RIGHT ANKLE TENDON SPRAIN SUNDOV DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 44-85 15-20 18 30 48 26 17 6 19 111 (.518) (.750) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 19(20 PTS)

PHOENIX REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

ROBINSON F 43 10-21 6-9 4 5 9 6 2 3 5 30 ROGERS F 31 7-14 3-4 3 1 4 1 6 2 3 17 O MILLER C 33 4-5 0-0 3 5 8 2 3 0 1 8 CHAPMAN G 28 2-9 0-2 0 2 2 3 1 0 0 4 KIDD G 44 11-19 0-0 0 6 6 15 2 5 1 25 DAY 28 6-15 1-2 2 2 4 2 1 1 1 18 LONGLEY 15 2-2 2-2 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 6 BAILEY 11 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 LIVINGSTON 6 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 DAVIS 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 GUGLIOTTA DNP - NOT WITH TEAM -- MEDICAL TESTS WEST DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 43-86 12-19 12 22 34 30 19 11 13 110 (.500) (.632) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 14(11 PTS)

DALLAS 26 31 19 35 - 111 PHOENIX 31 29 20 30 - 110

BLOCKED SHOTS: DALLAS - CEBALLOS 2, BRADLEY, NOWITZKI. PHOENIX - DAY 3, O MILLER 2, ROBINSON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DALLAS 8-16 (.500), NOWITZKI 2-4, DAVIS 0-1, FINLEY 2-3, CEBALLOS 2-3, JONES 2-5. PHOENIX 12-25 (.480), ROBINSON 4-9, CHAPMAN 0-3, KIDD 3-5, DAY 5-8. TECHNICALS: NONE. OFFICIALS: JESS KERSEY, BILL SPOONER, BENNIE ADAMS. A - 19,023. T - 2:13.


Box Score

DALLAS (111) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Nowitzki 43 10-17 2-4 4-9 3 3 24 Trent 33 6-12 1-2 2-6 2 2 13 Bradley 20 1-3 0-0 1-9 3 4 2 Davis 41 3-6 0-0 0-1 1 3 6 Finley 48 12-25 7-8 6-13 13 2 33 Ceballos 28 8-12 3-4 3-7 1 0 21 Rooks 12 1-3 0-0 1-1 1 3 2 Jones 15 3-7 2-2 1-2 2 0 10 Hughes DNP - coach's decision Nash DNP - right ankle tendon sprain Sundov DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-85 15-20 18-48 26 17 111 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.518, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 8-16, .500 (Nowitzki 2-4, Davis 0-1, Finley 2-3, Ceballos 2-3, Jones 2-5). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 4 (Ceballos 2, Bradley, Nowitzki). Turnovers: 19 (Finley 7, Nowitzki 3, Bradley 2, Davis 2, Jones 2, Trent 2, Ceballos). Steals: 6 (Finley 4, Davis, Trent).

PHOENIX (110) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Robinson 43 10-21 6-9 4-9 6 2 30 Rogers 31 7-14 3-4 3-4 1 6 17 O Miller 33 4-5 0-0 3-8 2 3 8 Chapman 28 2-9 0-2 0-2 3 1 4 Kidd 44 11-19 0-0 0-6 15 2 25 Day 28 6-15 1-2 2-4 2 1 18 Longley 15 2-2 2-2 0-0 1 2 6 Bailey 11 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 2 Livingston 6 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 2 0 Davis 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Gugliotta DNP - not with team -- medical tests West DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 43-86 12-19 12-34 30 19 110 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.632. 3-Point Goals: 12-25, .480 (Robinson 4-9, Chapman 0-3, Kidd 3-5, Day 5-8). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 6 (Day 3, O Miller 2, Robinson). Turnovers: 14 (Robinson 5, Rogers 3, Longley 2, Day, Kidd, O Miller). Steals: 11 (Kidd 5, Robinson 3, Rogers 2, Day). ____________________________________________ Dallas 26 31 19 35 - 111 Phoenix 31 29 20 30 - 110 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,023. T: 2:13. Officials: Jess Kersey, Bill Spooner, Bennie Adams.


Game Story

PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Something about his former team brings out the triple-double in Dallas Mavericks swingman Michael Finley.

Finley needed only three quarters to record his third triple-double of the season and second straight against the team that drafted him in 1995, helping the Mavericks snap a four-game losing streak with a thrilling 111-110 win over the Phoenix Suns.

Finley, who was sent to Dallas on December 26, 1996 in the trade for point guard Jason Kidd, finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high 13 assists for his fourth career triple-double. He had 33 points, a career-high 14 rebounds and 10 assists in a 120-115 home victory over Phoenix on December 11.

"It's a win. It's a win that we've needed, especially in the situation we've been in ... losing a couple of games in a row," Finley said. "My team looks for me to do all of those things -- score, rebound and assist. When they're knocking down shots it makes me look better. When I'm in there getting rebounds and doing other things, it makes our team a whole lot better."

"Finley was way above a triple-double," Dallas coach Don Nelson added. "I thought they played him pretty well, but he had a phenomenal night."

Finley is averaging 21.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 13 career games against Dallas.

The versatile 6-7 forward had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists after three quarters, but Dallas still trailed, 80-76. Finley's 18-footer with 1:38 to play put the Mavericks ahead to stay, 104-102, but not before some high drama in the closing seconds.

Phoenix, which buried 12-of-25 3-pointers, appeared to tie it at 111-111 with two seconds to go on Cliff Robinson's shot from beyond the arc.

But officials ruled that Robinson's right toe was on the line and replays confirmed he overstepped the stripe by a fraction of an inch, leaving the Suns with their third loss in 16 home games this season.

"Well, Merry Christmas," Nelson exclaimed. "It was a bizarre game, really. I thought that was a 3 at the end and I'm glad the referee stepped up and made the call. We were a little lucky and a little good. Wins are hard for us to come by. This is a big win."

"I thought it was a 3-pointer," Robinson said. "That's a tough call to make. I'm sure he felt like it was a 2-pointer, but I felt like it was a 3. It's hard to say without looking at the replay."

Kidd, who is tied for fourth on the all-time NBA list with 29 career triple-doubles -- including four against the Mavs -- had another spectacular night. He collected 25 points, matched a season high with 15 assists and grabbed six boards for the Suns, who suffered their second straight loss after four consecutive wins under new coach Scott Skiles.

"It wasn't the last minute that cost us the game," Skiles said. "It was the 47 before that. That is a tough loss and kind of a bitter pill to swallow."

"Finley had a triple-double," he added. "Jason did a good job on him, but he just got going early on us and like a lot of good offensive players, once they get going early they are awfully hard to stop."

Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points, including a key follow shot off a missed free throw with 16.2 seconds remaining for Dallas, which has won the last three meetings with Phoenix after dropping 26 of the previous 28.

Cedric Ceballos scored 21 points off the bench against his former team and Gary Trent added 13 for Dallas, which shot 52 percent (44-of-85) and held a commanding 48-34 advantage on the boards.

"I really have fun when I play here or at home against Phoenix," Ceballos said. "There's a lot of memories, a lot of goofing around. You can't beat that. It doesn't seem like a real pressure basketball game when you're playing against a team that you have good friends and good people with."

Damon Jones had 10 points for the Mavs, who made half of their 16 3-point attempts and 15-of-20 free throws.

Robinson scored 30 points on 10-of-21 shooting and made 4-of-9 3-pointers before accidentally straddling the line with his toe on the potential tying shot. Phoenix had a five-game home winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in six home games against Dallas.

Todd Day scored 12 of his 18 points off the bench in the fourth quarter, draining four 3-pointers down the stretch to keep the Suns within striking distance. Phoenix's 12 3-pointers were an NBA season high.

Day's final 3-pointer cut the deficit to 109-108 with seven seconds left. But Nowitzki hit two free throws with five seconds remaining before Robinson's 2-pointer.

"This was a hard way to lose," Day said. "I don't think they outplayed us but they seemed to get more breaks."

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