Final / OT

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/4

Game 1: Thursday, January 4th
Pacers91Final
Mavericks100
Game 2: Friday, January 12th
Mavericks115Final
OT
Pacers113

Mavericks 115

(30-8, 13-5 away)

Pacers 113

(20-17, 10-6 home)

Coverage: FSMW

7:00 PM ET, January 12, 2007

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

1 2 3 4 OT T
DAL 17 27 30 29 12115
IND 26 25 22 30 10113

Top Performers

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 43 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Ast

Indiana: J. O'Neal 26 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

Nowitzki erupts for 43 points; Mavs outlast Pacers in OT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks had an answer for every run by the Indiana Pacers.

Despite trailing by double digits in the first half, and six points late in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks rallied to force overtime before beating the Pacers 115-113 on Friday night.

"We've been in a lot of close games, that's what got us to the finals last year," said Nowitzki, who scored a season-high 43 points, including three free throws in the final 5 seconds of overtime to seal the win. "We learned last year how to close big games out, and that's what you've got to do."

Jason Terry had 30 points, Josh Howard scored 15 and Nowitzki grabbed 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, who improved to 16-1 in their last 17 games and an NBA-best 30-8 overall.

Dallas' only setback since Dec. 13 was a 101-98 loss at the Lakers on Jan. 7. The Mavericks have won three straight since then.

"This was thrilling," Terry said. "When you can come out on an off-night defensively and still pull it out on the road, against a tough Indiana team, that says a lot about your team."

In overtime, Danny Granger gave the Pacers a 107-105 lead with a 3-pointer, but Nowitzki came right back with a 3 of his own to put Dallas back in front.

After the teams traded baskets, Jermaine O'Neal's layup put Indiana ahead by a point, but again the Mavericks answered with Terry's jumper for a 112-111 lead with 27.8 seconds remaining.

Following a miss by O'Neal on Indiana's ensuing possession, Nowitzki made two free throws to extend the lead to three with 5.1 seconds left. Al Harrington made two free throws to pull the Pacers to 114-113, and Nowitzki hit one free throw with 2 seconds left to close the scoring.

The Pacers had one final chance, but Jeff Foster's long-range pass was tipped away by Dallas defenders.

"Dirk is our MVP," Terry said. "He's been doing it for years, and that performance was no different."

O'Neal finished with 26 points and nine rebounds, Granger and Stephen Jackson each scored 22, and Jamaal Tinsley added 17 points and 11 assists for the Pacers (20-17), who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

"It's disappointing to come out on the short end because we played hard," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "We fought hard and we were in a position to win."

Indiana took a 99-93 lead after two free throws by Granger with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter. Dallas scored seven of the next nine points, including a three-point play by Terry to cut the deficit to 101-100 with less than 2 minutes left.

"I don't think that was the time to panic," Nowitzki said of falling behind by six points. "We got some big stops and made some big shots."

Terry's 3-pointer put the Mavericks ahead 103-101 with 36 seconds left, but Tinsley's two free throws tied the score.

On Dallas' next possession, Terry had the ball stripped away by Tinsley on a drive to the basket, giving Indiana a shot to win the game in regulation. However, O'Neal's jumper with less than 10 seconds remaining came up short and Granger's tip-in attempt was blocked.

"It was another brawl tonight. ... One of those old heavyweight Joe Louis, Joe Frazier-type of brawls," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We weren't at our best tonight, but championship-caliber teams hate to lose."

Game notes


Nowitzki rolled his right ankle late in the fourth quarter after stepping on Harrington's foot while setting a screen. Nowitzki went to the bench briefly, but he did return. He's expected to play Sunday at Toronto. "It's a little sore, but I've seen it plenty of times," he said after the game. ... Former Pacers Anthony Johnson and Austin Croshere returned to Conseco Fieldhouse for the first time since being traded to Dallas in the offseason. Johnson, who received an ovation from the crowd, finished with one point. Croshere did not play. ... The Mavericks won their fourth straight game against Indiana. ... Dallas improved to 9-2 against Eastern Conference teams this season, while Indiana fell to 5-8 against the West. ... Dallas beat Indiana for the second time in nine days, sweeping the season series.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
DAL
IND
Points 115 113
FGM-FGA 37-88 (.420) 36-82 (.439)
3PM-3PA 6-20 (.300) 5-11 (.455)
FTM-FTA 35-45 (.778) 36-46 (.783)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-47 18-48
Assists 16 20
Turnovers 11 14
Steals 7 7
Blocks 7 6
Fast Break Points 16 19
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (1/0) 35 (1/0)
Largest Lead 3 11

Top Performers

Dallas
Indiana
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 43
Reb: 12
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Jermaine O'Neal O'Neal
Points: 26
Reb: 9
Ast: 5
Stl: 1
Blk: 3