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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- PHOENIX 23 21 14 19 77 DALLAS 17 23 23 18 81 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: PHO - IAKOVOS TSAKALIDIS 15, STEPHON MARBURY 13, SHAWN MARION 13 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 30, MICHAEL FINLEY 24, RAEF LAFRENTZ 12

HIGH REBOUND: PHO - SHAWN MARION 18, TOM GUGLIOTTA 7, JOE JOHNSON 7 DAL - DIRK NOWITZKI 20, RAEF LAFRENTZ 12, MICHAEL FINLEY 9

HIGH ASSISTS: PHO - STEPHON MARBURY 8, ANFERNEE HARDAWAY 3, TWO PLAYERS WITH 2 DAL - STEVE NASH 9, MICHAEL FINLEY 3, NICK VAN EXEL 3

ATT: 19,745


Extended Box

PHOENIX (77) AT DALLAS (81)

PHOENIX

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

T GUGLIOTTA F 37 4-11 2-2 1 6 7 2 2 1 2 10 S MARION F 42 3-12 7-8 2 16 18 1 4 2 1 13 I TSAKALIDIS C 29 6-10 3-3 0 3 3 0 4 0 0 15 J JOHNSON G 34 4-11 0-0 2 5 7 2 3 1 1 8 S MARBURY G 39 6-21 0-0 0 1 1 8 2 1 3 13 C OUTLAW 13 2-3 1-2 1 2 3 0 1 1 1 5 A HARDAWAY 16 1-6 2-2 1 4 5 3 4 2 2 4 M PALACIO 12 2-5 1-2 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 5 J WALLACE 12 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 2 2 D MAJERLE 6 1-3 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 J CRISPIN DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 30-84 16-19 8 39 47 18 22 8 13 77 (.357) (.842) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 13 (6 PTS)

DALLAS

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

J NEWMAN F 36 2-3 2-4 0 0 0 1 3 1 0 6 D NOWITZKI F 41 11-25 8-9 1 19 20 2 3 3 8 30 R LAFRENTZ C 40 4-15 3-3 4 8 12 0 4 1 4 12 M FINLEY G 48 9-21 6-8 2 7 9 3 2 0 3 24 S NASH G 26 1-5 0-0 1 3 4 9 3 1 2 3 E NAJERA 14 2-4 0-0 2 2 4 1 2 2 1 4 N VAN EXEL 30 1-7 0-0 0 4 4 3 3 1 0 2 S BRADLEY 4 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 A JOHNSON 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 E ESCHMEYER DNP - COACH'S DECISION G BUCKNER DNP - COACH'S DECISION W ZHI ZHI DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 30-81 19-24 10 43 53 19 21 9 18 81 (.370) (.792) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 18 (15 PTS)

PHOENIX 23 21 14 19 - 77 DALLAS 17 23 23 18 - 81

BLOCKED SHOTS: PHOENIX - C OUTLAW, S MARION, J JOHNSON. DALLAS - R LAFRENTZ 5, N VAN EXEL 2, S BRADLEY, E NAJERA. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: PHOENIX 1-8 (.125), S MARION 0-1, S MARBURY 1-4, A HARDAWAY 0-1, D MAJERLE 0-2. DALLAS 2-14 (.143), D NOWITZKI 0-3, R LAFRENTZ 1-5, M FINLEY 0-3, S NASH 1-1, N VAN EXEL 0-2. TECHNICAL FOULS: NONE. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DAN CRAWFORD, DEE KANTNER, JAMES CAPERS, JOE CRAWFORD. A - 19,745. T - 2:05.


Box Score

PHOENIX (77)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp T Gugliotta 37 4-11 2-2 1-7 2 2 10 S Marion 42 3-12 7-8 2-18 1 4 13 I Tsakalidis 29 6-10 3-3 0-3 0 4 15 J Johnson 34 4-11 0-0 2-7 2 3 8 S Marbury 39 6-21 0-0 0-1 8 2 13 C Outlaw 13 2-3 1-2 1-3 0 1 5 A Hardaway 16 1-6 2-2 1-5 3 4 4 M Palacio 12 2-5 1-2 1-2 1 0 5 J Wallace 12 1-2 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 D Majerle 6 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 2 J Crispin DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-84 16-19 8-47 18 22 77 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.357, FT-.842. 3-Point Goals: 1-8, .125 (S Marion 0-1, S Marbury 1-4, A Hardaway 0-1, D Majerle 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:3 (C Outlaw, S Marion, J Johnson). Turnovers:13 (S Marbury 3, A Hardaway 2, T Gugliotta 2, J Wallace 2, C Outlaw, M Palacio, S Marion, J Johnson). Steals: 8 (A Hardaway 2, S Marion 2, C Outlaw, J Johnson, T Gugliotta, S Marbury).

DALLAS (81)

fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp J Newman 36 2-3 2-4 0-0 1 3 6 D Nowitzki 41 11-25 8-9 1-20 2 3 30 R Lafrentz 40 4-15 3-3 4-12 0 4 12 M Finley 48 9-21 6-8 2-9 3 2 24 S Nash 26 1-5 0-0 1-4 9 3 3 E Najera 14 2-4 0-0 2-4 1 2 4 N Van Exel 30 1-7 0-0 0-4 3 3 2 S Bradley 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 A Johnson 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 E Eschmeyer DNP - COACH'S DECISION G Buckner DNP - COACH'S DECISION W Zhi Zhi DNP - COACH'S DECISION

_____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 30-81 19-24 10-53 19 21 81 _____________________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.370, FT-.792. 3-Point Goals: 2-14, .143 (D Nowitzki 0-3, R Lafrentz 1-5, M Finley 0-3, S Nash 1-1, N Van Exel 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Blocked Shots:9 (R Lafrentz 5, N Van Exel 2, S Bradley, E Najera). Turnovers:18 (D Nowitzki 8, R Lafrentz 4, M Finley 3, S Nash 2, E Najera). Steals: 9 (D Nowitzki 3, E Najera 2, N Van Exel, J Newman, R Lafrentz, S Nash).

------------------------------------------- PHOENIX 23 21 14 19 - 77 DALLAS 17 23 23 18 - 81 -------------------------------------------

Technical fouls: None. Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,745. T: 2:05. Officials: Dan Crawford, Dee Kantner, James Capers, Joe Crawford.


Game Story

DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks are making a bad habit of blowing big leads against bad teams.

Dirk Nowitzki had 30 points and 20 rebounds and Michael Finley added 24 and nine as the Mavericks survived a furious rally by the Phoenix Suns en route to an 81-77 victory.

Dallas is one game behind the Sacramento Kings for the best record in the league but survived its second scare in three days. The Mavericks squandered a 15-point lead before winning in overtime at Denver on Sunday and Tuesday blew a 16-point cushion in the fourth quarter against the Suns.

"We always find a way to let the other team stick around and find a way to get back into the game," Nowitzki said. "It's just terrible. We should have a lot of guys getting a lot of rest. We kept it close but we've got to do a better job playing through."

Phoenix had a 54-53 lead with 4:45 left in the third quarter before Dallas used a 25-6 run to seize control. Finley scored six points during the burst and started it with a pair of free throws to give the Mavs the lead for good, 55-54, with 4:39 left in the third.

Nowitzki added five points during the stretch and his jumper with 8:16 remaining was Dallas' last basket. He sank a free throw to complete a three-point play and Finley made 1-of-2 free throws to complete the run and give the Mavs a 78-62 cushion with 7:28 to play.

Milt Palacio responded with a three-point play to spark a 15-2 spurt for the Suns. Tom Gugliotta scored four of his 10 points during the stretch and buried a jumper form the top of the key to bring Phoenix within 80-77 with 41 seconds left.

"We knew (Dallas) would let us back into the game if we stuck with it, and we had an opportunity," Gugliotta said. "But to be down 12 with four or five minutes to go makes it tough to win."

"I was surprised when we gave the lead away," Nelson said. "They made a couple of poor plays and missed some shots. But before you know it they're right back in it. The bottom line is that we won the game we were supposed to win and we did it the hard way."

Finley missed a jumper with 17 seconds to go and Phoenix had a chance to tie, but Stephon Marbury missed a 3-pointer from the top of the circle with 11 seconds remaining.

"We wanted him to basically drive," Phoenix coach Frank Johnson said. "Maybe he could get us a three-point play. But he settled for a shot he thought he could make."

Nowitzki sank 1-of-2 free throws with nine seconds left to seal Dallas' fourth win in five games.

Raef LaFrentz collected 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Mavericks, who shot just 37 percent (30-of-81) and were held 20 points below their season average.

Jake Tsakalidis scored 15 points and Shawn Marion had 13 and a season-high 18 rebounds for the Suns, who have lost four of their last five road games.

Marbury recorded 13 points on 6-of-21 shooting as Phoenix shot just 36 percent (30-of-84), including 1-of-8 from 3-point range.

"I couldn't buy a basket," Marbury said. "I couldn't shoot the ball into the ocean if I wanted to."

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