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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- DALLAS 27 35 30 20 112 PHILADELPHIA 30 27 23 14 94 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 36, MICHAEL FINLEY 25, STEVE NASH 18 PHI - ALLEN IVERSON 26, AARON MCKIE 19, TONI KUKOC 11

HIGH REBOUND: DAL - CHRISTIAN LAETTNER 8, HUBERT DAVIS 8 PHI - THEO RATLIFF 9, GEORGE LYNCH 9

HIGH ASSISTS: DAL - STEVE NASH 13, MICHAEL FINLEY 5 PHI - GEORGE LYNCH 4, ALLEN IVERSON 3

ATT: 18,563


Extended Box

DALLAS (112) AT PHILADELPHIA (94)

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

FINLEY F 45 11-21 2-2 2 1 3 5 1 2 0 25 NOWITZKI F 40 13-19 5-5 1 5 6 1 1 0 0 36 BRADLEY C 16 0-4 1-2 2 1 3 1 4 1 0 1 EISLEY G 31 7-9 0-0 1 3 4 2 4 2 1 16 NASH G 38 7-17 3-3 2 5 7 13 3 1 4 18 LAETTNER 28 3-11 3-3 5 3 8 1 5 0 3 9 DAVIS 27 1-10 0-0 0 8 8 1 2 0 0 3 NAJERA 2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 VAUGHT 6 1-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 1 1 2 BRYANT 2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ALEXANDER 3 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 2 HARVEY 2 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

TOTALS 240 44-95 14-17 13 29 42 24 24 8 9 112 (.463) (.824) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 9(12 PTS)

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

HILL F 21 4-8 0-0 3 0 3 2 4 2 3 8 LYNCH F 20 1-4 1-2 3 6 9 4 3 0 2 3 RATLIFF C 30 3-5 3-4 3 6 9 1 2 0 3 9 IVERSON G 41 7-20 12-12 0 4 4 3 2 1 2 26 MAXWELL G 27 4-7 0-0 0 3 3 2 1 1 5 10 MCKIE 31 8-11 1-1 0 3 3 1 3 2 0 19 MACCULLOCH 11 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 2 KUKOC 24 3-8 4-4 2 4 6 2 0 0 1 11 MOHAMMED 5 1-3 0-0 1 2 3 0 1 0 0 2 JONES 21 0-5 2-4 0 3 3 0 0 0 1 2 SANCHEZ 9 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 GEIGER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 33-77 23-27 12 34 46 16 19 6 17 94 (.429) (.852) TEAM REBS: 7 TOTAL TO: 18(29 PTS)

DALLAS 27 35 30 20 - 112 PHILADELPHIA 30 27 23 14 - 94

BLOCKED SHOTS: DALLAS - BRADLEY 2, NOWITZKI. PHILADELPHIA - RATLIFF 4, KUKOC, JONES, MACCULLOCH. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: DALLAS 10-24 (.417), FINLEY 1-5, NOWITZKI 5-8, EISLEY 2-3, NASH 1-4, DAVIS 1-4. PHILADELPHIA 5-17 (.294), IVERSON 0-3, MAXWELL 2-5, MCKIE 2-4, KUKOC 1-2, JONES 0-2, SANCHEZ 0-1. TECHNICALS: PHILADELPHIA - IVERSON, HILL, ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: STEVE JAVIE, COURTNEY KIRKLAND, DEREK RICHARDSON. A - 18,563. T - 2:04.


Box Score

DALLAS (112) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Finley 45 11-21 2-2 2-3 5 1 25 Nowitzki 40 13-19 5-5 1-6 1 1 36 Bradley 16 0-4 1-2 2-3 1 4 1 Eisley 31 7-9 0-0 1-4 2 4 16 Nash 38 7-17 3-3 2-7 13 3 18 Laettner 28 3-11 3-3 5-8 1 5 9 Davis 27 1-10 0-0 0-8 1 2 3 Najera 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Vaught 6 1-1 0-0 0-2 0 1 2 Bryant 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Alexander 3 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 2 Harvey 2 0-0 0-2 0-0 0 1 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 44-95 14-17 13-42 24 24 112 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.463, FT-.824. 3-Point Goals: 10-24, .417 (Finley 1-5, Nowitzki 5-8, Eisley 2-3, Nash 1-4, Davis 1-4). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 3 (Bradley 2, Nowitzki). Turnovers: 9 (Nash 4, Laettner 3, Eisley, Vaught). Steals: 8 (Eisley 2, Finley 2, Alexander, Bradley, Nash, Vaught).

PHILADELPHIA (94) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Hill 21 4-8 0-0 3-3 2 4 8 Lynch 20 1-4 1-2 3-9 4 3 3 Ratliff 30 3-5 3-4 3-9 1 2 9 Iverson 41 7-20 12-12 0-4 3 2 26 Maxwell 27 4-7 0-0 0-3 2 1 10 Mckie 31 8-11 1-1 0-3 1 3 19 Macculloch 11 1-3 0-0 0-2 0 2 2 Kukoc 24 3-8 4-4 2-6 2 0 11 Mohammed 5 1-3 0-0 1-3 0 1 2 Jones 21 0-5 2-4 0-3 0 0 2 Sanchez 9 1-3 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 Geiger DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-77 23-27 12-46 16 19 94 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.429, FT-.852. 3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (Iverson 0-3, Maxwell 2-5, Mckie 2-4, Kukoc 1-2, Jones 0-2, Sanchez 0-1). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 7 (Ratliff 4, Kukoc, Jones, Macculloch). Turnovers: 18 (Maxwell 5, Hill 3, Ratliff 3, Iverson 2, Lynch 2, Jones, Kukoc). Steals: 6 (Hill 2, Mckie 2, Iverson, Maxwell). ____________________________________________ Dallas 27 35 30 20 - 112 Philadelphia 30 27 23 14 - 94 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Philadelphia 3 (Iverson, 0:55 2nd; Hill, 1:20 3rd; Illegal Defense, 8:25 4th). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,563. T: 2:04. Officials: Steve Javie, Courtney Kirkland, Derek Richardson.


Game Story

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Don Nelson came back and Dirk Nowitzki bounced back.

Nelson returned to coach the Dallas Mavericks after a three-game absence and watched Nowitzki score a career-high 36 points in a surprisingly easy 112-94 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Stricken with the early stages of prostate cancer, Nelson left the team after last Friday's win over Chicago that moved him past mentor Red Auerbach into fourth place on the all-time wins list.

The Mavericks went 1-2 with assistant Del Harris running the team. While away, Nelson decided on a course of treatment and will coach the team for several weeks before undergoing surgery to remove his prostate on January 4 in Salt Lake City.

"I couldn't hardly stand being away anymore," Nelson said. "So we cut a couple of doctor appointments short today. We flew in. We just had a real fun time. I missed the guys. It was hard to stay away from them, especially when their going through hard times.

"I'll coach as long as I can coach. I have to go the day before surgery, so I'll coach up until then."

The players got an emotional boost from Nelson's return and in no one was it more evident than Nowitzki, who was coming off his worst game of the season. He shot 1-of-10 in Wednesday's loss at Indiana but resumed his All-Star campaign tonight.

"I wouldn't say we were any more fired up, but it was nice to have him back," Nowitzki said. "We all love him. He's a great coach, but we've got to find a way to win without him."

Nowitzki made 13-of-19 shots, including 5-of-8 3-pointers. The 7-footer was too tall for Philadephia forwards Tyrone Hill and Toni Kukoc and too quick for center Todd MacCulloch.

"For me, it's big," Nowitzki said. "I was down yesterday, thinking about what I did wrong. I didn't make any changes to my game. I just made up my mind that I was going to make some easy ones at the beginning and it worked out."

"He was great," 76ers coach Larry Brown said. "They run their stuff better, they've got great ballhandling and dribble penetration, great outside shooting and they are defending a lot better."

The German sensation led an attack that truly humbled the 76ers. By spreading the floor and swinging the ball, Dallas shot 46 percent (44-of-95) and posted a season-high point total against the NBA's best defensive team, which came in allowing just 40 percent shooting and 86.1 points per game.

"It was one of our better games of the year," Nelson said. "I was really happy with our performance at both ends. When we made shots, we were hard to beat."

Michael Finley scored 25 points and Steve Nash added 18 and 13 assists for Dallas, which improved to 2-2 on a six-game road trip and won in Philadelphia for the first time since January 8, 1997.

"Steve Nash dominated the game," Brown said. "He completely controlled the game. He got them any shot they wanted and got everybody in position. They were just terrific."

Allen Iverson scored 26 points for the Sixers, who got just 30 from the rest of their starters. Aaron McKie added 19 off the bench.

Philadelphia (17-6) still has the Eastern Conference's best record but five of its losses have come to Western Conference teams. Injuries to Eric Snow and Matt Geiger may be catching up with the Sixers, who are 7-6 since a 10-0 start and have dropped two in a row at home.

"I'm asking guys to do what they haven't done before," Brown said. "It's not their fault. I've got to figure out a way to make it easier. When you don't have a true point guard back there (Snow), he's usually your first line of defense."

"I don't know how much blame a coach can take for a loss that didn't come down to a call," Iverson said. "We're the ones who are playing. So, I don't know why he's taking the blame for this one."

Iverson scored 10 points as Philadelphia grabbed a 30-27 lead after one quarter but it was all Dallas thereafter. Howard Eisley scored half his 16 points in an 11-0 run that gave the Mavs the lead for good at 45-40 with 4:02 left in the second quarter.

Nowitzki scored 16 points in the first half, which ended with the Mavs holding a 62-57 lead. His 3-pointer capped an 11-4 spurt that widened the advantage to 81-71 with 5:19 remaining in the third quarter.

"My teammates did a great job of finding me," Nowitzki said. "I tried to be more aggressive going to the basket."

It was a miracle with us in foul trouble in the first half that we were in it," Brown said. "They had what, 62 points at halftime? You knew once you saw that, it was going to be pretty tough."

Iverson was the only Sixer to score for nearly six minutes and Nowitzki banked home a rushed 3-pointer at the horn, giving Dallas a 92-80 lead entering the final period. He drilled a jumper and 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter and Finley's six straight points sealed it at 104-84 with 6:51 to play.

Kukoc scored 11 points and Theo Ratliff and George Lynch pulled down nine rebounds each for the Sixers, who shot 43 percent (33-of-77) and surrendered 29 points off 18 turnovers.

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