Mavericks beat Nets, get back on trackDec 6, 2006 - 3:11 AM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Josh Howard and the Dallas Mavericks remembered the routine.
Howard got off to another quick start and scored 23 points in a terrific two-way effort as the Mavericks relied on a familiar formula for their 13th win in 14 games, a 92-75 victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks, who bounced back nicely from Monday's loss at Washington. They never trailed for the fifth time in six games and held the Nets to 35 percent (26-of-74) shooting.
The Mavericks got back to what had been working at the tail end of their 12-game winning streak - getting off to quick starts. The driving force had been Howard, who in the last four wins averaged nearly nine points on 63 percent shooting - in the first quarter.
After a poor effort Monday, Howard rediscovered his stroke. He scored 11 points in the first quarter, helping Dallas to a 21-14 lead.
The Nets missed their first six shots and never really found a rhythm in the first half, shooting just 29 percent (10-of-35), and falling behind, 49-35. Superstar Vince Carter was just 1-of-7.
New Jersey rallied in the third quarter behind the energy of reserve center Mikki Moore. He had eight points and five rebounds in the period, when the Nets inched as close as five points.
But in the fourth quarter, Nowitzki and Howard teamed up to stabilize matters.
After Nowitzki made two free throws to rebuild the lead to double digits, Howard sank a transition jumper. Nenad Krstic answered with a jumper, but Howard drained a shot from the arc and Nowitzki buried a pair of jumpers to make it 86-69 with 3:50 left.
NEW JERSEY 75 FINAL
Dec 5 9:56 PM
NEW JERSEY 61 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 5 9:24 PM
NEW JERSEY 35 HALFTIME
Dec 5 8:40 PM
NEW JERSEY 14 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 5 8:05 PM
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