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Nowitzki helps Mavericks capture seventh straight win

Nov 22, 2006 - 4:07 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks have found their form.

Nowitzki had 30 points and 14 rebounds and Devin Harris scored 18 points as the Mavericks won their seventh straight game with a 107-80 victory over the Washington Wizards.

A 7-footer with great shooting touch, Nowitzki made 11-of-19 shots, including 2-of-4 3-pointers. He has registered a double-double in each of his last six contests.

"They (Washington) played a pretty small lineup for most of the game, and if teams do that, we have to punish them on the glass and go in the paint and get easy baskets," Nowitzki said.

Greg Buckner and Harris drained back-to-back 3-pointers in an impressive 18-5 surge that closed the third quarter and gave the Mavericks a 76-64 advantage.

"We had a drought in the third period," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "We started off good, both teams were going back and forth, up and down, the way both teams like to play. We just couldn't buy a shot and eventually they hit their stride. They went up and from there (and) they never looked back."

Jason Terry hit a shot from arc and Nowitzki converted a three-point play with seven minutes remaining to push the lead to 94-70. The Mavericks never were challenged thereafter.

After reaching the NBA Finals last season, Dallas dropped its first four games this season. But it has not lost since, claiming four wins on the road.

Terry scored 18 points and Austin Croshere added 14 off the bench for the Mavericks, who shot just 39 percent (38-of-98).

"We're getting better every game. We are jelling," Terry said. "We've got a lot of depth with Croshere, Buckner, (DeSagana) Diop and all those guys coming off the bench. They kept us in it."

"I've made the most of my opportunities and hopefully now he (coach Avery Johnson) has some confidence in me that I can help this team," Croshere said.

Gilbert Arenas scored 29 points and Caron Butler chipped in 12 and 11 rebounds for Washington, which shot 36 percent (27-of-75) and fell to 0-5 away from home.

"They ran different sets to try and get two on the ball," Jordan said. "They space you out on the corners and they pop out to the top, so it is a good scheme by Avery. It's a good way to play with his personnel and it worked."

The Wizards have not won here since December 8, 2001, spanning five visits.

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