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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Mavericks shoot 61 percent to dim Suns 124-103

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posted on Apr, 4 2004 @ 12:51 PM

DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks continue to pour in the points with coach Don Nelson's small lineups.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points, Antawn Jamison had 22 and the Mavericks beat the Phoenix Suns 124-103 Saturday night.

Michael Finley had 20 points and Steve Nash added nine points and 14 assists for the Mavericks, who have a league-best 33 home victories.

The Mavericks shot a season-best 61 percent to improve to 33-5 at home.

"It's hard for anyone to match up with us," Jamison said. "You can't double-team one guy and we're a very unselfish team. We're just doing a good job utilizing the matchups."

Dallas surpassed 120 points for the third straight game, moving to 8-0 this season when scoring 120 or more.

"The offense was clicking and there were a lot of shot opportunities there," Nelson said.

Josh Howard contributed 14 points and eight assists, and Antoine Walker and Marquis Daniels added 11 points each for Dallas.

Dallas won its fourth straight game with centers Shawn Bradley, Danny Fortson and Scott Williams on the bench until late in the fourth quarter, when Williams played two minutes.

The 6-foot-9 Walker played center most of the night for Dallas.

"This gives us a lot of different combinations and that makes us tough to guard," Walker said.

Amare Stoudemire had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns, who lost for the fourth time in six games. Shawn Marion also had 20 points, and Joe Johnson and Leandro Barbosa added 17 apiece for the Suns, 10-30 on the road this season.

"For us to win on the road, we would have to play super, and I don't think we played super," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said.

The Suns held a 32-31 lead after one quarter before the Mavericks found the range. Dallas went 14 for 17 from the field in the second quarter to build a 65-53 halftime advantage.

"We just couldn't stop them," D'Antoni said. "They're doing this to a lot of teams right now. Those guys just don't hit a dry spell."

In the first half, Finley and Nowitzki had 14 points each and Jamison scored 12.

The Mavericks kept up the offensive pressure in the third quarter, with Nowitzki scoring Dallas' last 11 points of the period.

"Dirk struck a match and caught fire," Stoudemire said.

Nowitzki's dunk with 1.3 seconds left in the third gave the Mavericks a 90-75 lead.

Dallas went on to lead by as many as 23 points in the fourth quarter.

Notes: Dallas' previous best shooting game of the season came on Nov. 11 against New Orleans, when the Mavericks made 58 percent. ... Nash has 33 assists in his last two games. ... Dallas won three of four against Phoenix in the season series. ... The Suns have lost seven straight in Dallas. ... The Mavericks are 16-0 when they shoot at least 50 percent from the field. ... Jamison outscored the Suns reserves by himself, 22-21.

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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