02/13/2007 Mavericks @ Milwaukee

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Dirk Nowitzki had 38 points and 11 rebounds and the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 99-93 Tuesday night for their eighth straight win.

The Mavericks, with the NBA's best record at 43-9, outscored the Bucks 28-11 in the fourth quarter as Milwaukee self-destructed with six turnovers and failed to hit a field goal in the final 7:05.

Dallas took its first lead of the game, 93-92, with 1:04 to play on Nowitzki's layup when the Mavericks got a third chance after receiving a pair of offensive rebounds.

Milwaukee's Ruben Patterson, who finished with 20 points, tied it at 93 by hitting the second of two free throws, but Nowitzki, who finished with eight assists, drove and found Jason Terry for a 16-foot jumper that put Dallas ahead 95-93 with 34.9 seconds left.

With a chance to tie, the Bucks missed yet another shot when Charlie Bell, who finished with 11 points, misfired on an 18-footer. The Mavericks got the rebound, and Jerry Stackhouse hit two free throws. Nowitzki added two free throws of his own for the final margin.

Dallas, which has now won 29 out of its last 31 games, also got 15 points from Josh Howard and 13 points from Stackhouse. Terry chipped in with 10 assists.

Andrew Bogut had 16 points and 17 rebounds for Milwaukee, which has lost seven of its last eight and is 3-18 since Jan. 1. Charlie Villanueva and Mo Williams had 15 points apiece and Earl Boykins added 13 for the Bucks.

Dallas trailed 82-71 after three quarters but Devean George had all the Mavericks' points in a 9-2 run to start the fourth. His fastbreak lay-up made it 84-80 with 9 minutes left.

George went sprawling for a loose ball 90 seconds later and immediately started grasping at his right knee. The team said he'd have an MRI exam on Wednesday if the knee was still bothering him.

Nowitzki picked up the scoring slack from there, hitting a pair of jumpers and Terry added a 15-footer to cut it to 91-88.

After Nowitzki got a technical foul, he drove and found Stackhouse open in the corner for a 3 setting up the final sequence as Milwaukee missed its final 10 shots.

The Mavs, after coming off a 106-89 victory against Philadelphia were down big against the Bucks.

Bogut was the main reason the Bucks built an early lead. He already had a double-double with 5 minutes left in the first half, and the Mavs still trailed 68-52 midway through the third quarter.


Notes: Villanueva sprained his right ankle and returned briefly before leaving for good. ... Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said he believes that next season as many as four Dallas players - Nowitzki, Howard, Terry and Erick Dampier - could make the All-Star game when it's scheduled to be played in Johnson's hometown of New Orleans. ... Milwaukee's Michael Redd (sprained left knee) missed his 19th game and is not traveling with the team to Boston on Wednesday. ... The crowd was announced at 16,514, but there were thousands of empty seats as heavy snow fell beginning a few hours before tip-off.