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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- WASHINGTON 25 30 24 26 105 DALLAS 26 33 27 26 112 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: WAS - JUWAN HOWARD 27, MITCH RICHMOND 23, RICHARD HAMILTON 17 DAL - MICHAEL FINLEY 26, DIRK NOWITZKI 25, STEVE NASH 16

HIGH REBOUND: WAS - JUWAN HOWARD 11, JAHIDI WHITE 9 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 10, GREG BUCKNER 7

HIGH ASSISTS: WAS - CHRIS WHITNEY 6, RICHARD HAMILTON 4 DAL - STEVE NASH 9, HOWARD EISLEY 5

ATT: 18,187


Extended Box

WASHINGTON (105) AT DALLAS (112)

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

HOWARD F 40 9-16 9-10 2 9 11 3 5 1 2 27 RICHMOND F 33 10-16 2-2 2 1 3 2 4 3 4 23 J WHITE C 29 3-5 5-8 5 4 9 0 3 0 3 11 HAMILTON G 41 8-14 0-0 2 3 5 4 5 2 5 17 C WHITNEY G 30 4-10 4-4 0 1 1 6 6 0 0 13 NESBY 27 2-10 2-2 0 3 3 1 2 1 0 6 KING 14 3-5 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 6 P JONES 12 0-2 1-2 2 1 3 1 3 0 0 1 MICHAEL SMITH 14 0-0 1-4 4 2 6 2 1 0 1 1 BOOTH DNP - COACH'S DECISION LOPEZ DNP - COACH'S DECISION STRICKLAND DNP - SORE HAMSTRINGS

TOTALS 240 39-78 24-32 18 25 43 19 29 7 17 105 (.500) (.750) TEAM REBS: 2 TOTAL TO: 17(22 PTS)

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

FINLEY F 43 12-24 2-4 1 4 5 2 3 2 3 26 NOWITZKI F 37 8-13 8-9 4 6 10 2 4 2 2 25 LAETTNER C 20 3-3 0-0 0 3 3 3 4 1 0 6 EISLEY G 32 3-8 1-1 0 4 4 5 2 3 3 7 NASH G 30 3-10 9-11 1 1 2 9 3 1 4 16 TRENT 10 2-3 2-2 1 1 2 0 2 0 1 6 BUCKNER 27 3-4 5-7 2 5 7 2 3 1 0 11 VAUGHT 3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 BRADLEY 26 3-5 4-4 3 2 5 0 2 0 0 10 DAVIS 12 2-5 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 ALEXANDER DNP - COACH'S DECISION BRYANT DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 39-75 31-38 12 27 39 23 24 10 13 112 (.520) (.816) TEAM REBS: 6 TOTAL TO: 13(10 PTS)

WASHINGTON 25 30 24 26 - 105 DALLAS 26 33 27 26 - 112

BLOCKED SHOTS: WASHINGTON - J WHITE 2, NESBY, HOWARD. DALLAS - TRENT. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: WASHINGTON 3-17 (.176), RICHMOND 1-6, HAMILTON 1-3, C WHITNEY 1-3, NESBY 0-5. DALLAS 3-12 (.250), FINLEY 0-3, NOWITZKI 1-1, EISLEY 0-3, NASH 1-3, DAVIS 1-2. TECHNICALS: WASHINGTON - J WHITE, DALLAS - ILLEGAL DEFENSE. OFFICIALS: ED F RUSH, BLANE REICHELT, PHIL ROBINSON. A - 18,187. T - 2:16.


Box Score

WASHINGTON (105) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Howard 40 9-16 9-10 2-11 3 5 27 Richmond 33 10-16 2-2 2-3 2 4 23 J White 29 3-5 5-8 5-9 0 3 11 Hamilton 41 8-14 0-0 2-5 4 5 17 C Whitney 30 4-10 4-4 0-1 6 6 13 Nesby 27 2-10 2-2 0-3 1 2 6 King 14 3-5 0-0 1-2 0 0 6 P Jones 12 0-2 1-2 2-3 1 3 1 Michael Smith 14 0-0 1-4 4-6 2 1 1 Booth DNP - coach's decision Lopez DNP - coach's decision Strickland DNP - sore hamstrings _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-78 24-32 18-43 19 29 105 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 3-17, .176 (Richmond 1-6, Hamilton 1-3, C Whitney 1-3, Nesby 0-5). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 4 (J White 2, Nesby, Howard). Turnovers: 17 (Hamilton 5, Richmond 4, J White 3, Howard 2, King 2, Michael Smith). Steals: 7 (Richmond 3, Hamilton 2, Howard, Nesby).

DALLAS (112) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Finley 43 12-24 2-4 1-5 2 3 26 Nowitzki 37 8-13 8-9 4-10 2 4 25 Laettner 20 3-3 0-0 0-3 3 4 6 Eisley 32 3-8 1-1 0-4 5 2 7 Nash 30 3-10 9-11 1-2 9 3 16 Trent 10 2-3 2-2 1-2 0 2 6 Buckner 27 3-4 5-7 2-7 2 3 11 Vaught 3 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 1 0 Bradley 26 3-5 4-4 3-5 0 2 10 Davis 12 2-5 0-0 0-0 0 0 5 Alexander DNP - coach's decision Bryant DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 39-75 31-38 12-39 23 24 112 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.520, FT-.816. 3-Point Goals: 3-12, .250 (Finley 0-3, Nowitzki 1-1, Eisley 0-3, Nash 1-3, Davis 1-2). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 1 (Trent). Turnovers: 13 (Nash 4, Eisley 3, Finley 3, Nowitzki 2, Trent). Steals: 10 (Eisley 3, Finley 2, Nowitzki 2, Buckner, Laettner, Nash). ____________________________________________ Washington 25 30 24 26 - 105 Dallas 26 33 27 26 - 112 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Washington 1 (J White, 4:56 3rd). Dallas 1 (Illegal Defense, 3:54 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 18,187. T: 2:16. Officials: Ed F Rush, Blane Reichelt, Phil Robinson.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks may be without their overexuberant owner for another game, but they are ready to turn back the coaching reigns to Don Nelson.

In their final game under the direction of Nelson's son, Donnie, the Mavericks got 26 points from Michael Finley and held on for a 112-105 victory over the floundering Washington Wizards.

With owner Mark Cuban serving the first of his two-game suspension for running onto the court in the waning moments of Thursday's victory over Cleveland, the Mavericks overcame a sluggish start and moved a season-high 13 games over .500.

"It is a good sign," Donnie Nelson said. "This is a game we needed to get. It wasn't pretty but the end result is the important thing."

Under terms of the suspension, the billionaire owner, who also has been fined $405,000 by the NBA this season, was forbidden from attending the game at the Reunion Center. A fan held up a banner, proclaiming: "Free Mark Cuban."

Finley was philosophical about Cuban's absence.

"I've always said about Mark that he was a fan first and an owner second," he said. "As an owner, he's got an opportunity to do things that he's always thought about doing as a fan. As a fan, maybe he wanted to run out onto to the court but he couldn't. Now as an owner, he can and get fined and miss two games. He's the owner, so he can do whatever he wants."

Before the All-Star break, the elder Nelson, who has been recovering from prostate cancer treatment, announced he would return for Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The 60-year-old Nelson underwent surgery on January 4 at University of Utah Medical Center and has been recovering at his offseason home in Maui.

"He's going to be more enthusiastic," Finley said. ""I think he has the mentality of a player, like a player who's hurt and comes back for that first game. He's going to be excited just to come back and get back in a comfortable environment."

Donnie Nelson guided the Mavericks to a 13-8 record. He stepped in for his father after assistant Del Harris declined to run the team.

"He did a great job," Dallas guard Steve Nash said. "He stepped in confidently. He was able to be himself. That's an incredible attribute to have when there's a lot of pressure on you. He did a great job of keeping us right in the playoff race."

"We had no let up after Big Nellie was gone," added Dirk Nowitzki, who added 25 points for the Mavericks. "We played good basketball, won a lot of games. Hopefully, Big Nellie comes in and it goes back to the old way he was."

The Mavericks posted their fifth straight home victory to improve to 17-9 at Reunion Arena. They are just 3-5 in front of home sellouts.

Donnie Nelson was satisfied with the job he did during his father's recovery.

"We did not lose any significant ground," he said. "We seem to keep things rolling along. We just have a team that can coach itself in a lot of ways. We had all 12 guys step up and contribute in the absence of Nellie."

Juwan Howard scored 27 points and Mitch Richmond added 23 for the Wizards, who suffered their sixth straight loss.

"I think we got beat by a team that continued to execute when the game was on the line," Washington coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Their offense was a little bit better than our defense. We just seemed to not be able to get stops."

Dallas opened its biggest lead, 81-68, on a free throw by Steve Nash with 3:24 left in the third period. Washington closed to 108-102 on Howard's jumper with 90 seconds left, but another foul shot by Nash and Greg Buckner's dunk made it 111-102 with 38 seconds to play.

"With a team like that, it's really hard to stop just one player because they've got so many guys who can score," Washington guard Richard Hamilton said. "That made it difficult. You really can't double-team or anything like that."

Perhaps distracted by the latest controversy surrounding Cuban, the Mavericks played little defense in the first quarter, allowing the Wizards to open a 19-11 lead on Chris Whitney's 3-pointer with 5:40 left in the period.

Dallas finished the quarter with a 15-4 spurt, but Washington spurted again early in the second, going up 46-40 on Richmond's jumper with 6:03 remaining in the half.

The Mavericks grabbed the lead for good, 56-55, on Hubert Davis' 3-pointer with 1:36 left in the first half before settling for a 59-55 halftime lead. Nash's 3-pointer capped a 9-0 spurt that gave Dallas its first double-figure lead, 72-61 with 8:16 left in the third quarter.

In a rarity, both teams shot 50 percent or better. The Mavericks shot 52 percent (39-of-75), while the Wizards made 39 of their 78 attempts.

Both teams also had five players in double figures. Hamilton added 17, Whitney 13 and Jahidi White 11 for the Wizards.

For the Mavericks, Buckner contributed 11 and Shawn Bradley 10 off the bench.

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