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Nowitzki hurt in Mavericks win

Mar 29, 2007 - 5:15 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks extended their winning streak, but lost their MVP candidate.

Jason Terry scored 27 points to lead the Mavericks to their 60th win of the season and eighth straight, 105-103, over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dirk Nowitzki started the game on fire, scoring 17 points in only 16 minutes, but rolled his left ankle and left the game with 3:42 remaining in the second quarter. The 7-0 German tried to play at the beginning of the third quarter but left the game for good after just one minute. The injury does not appear to be serious.

"He should be Ok," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "We'll get him some treatment tomorrow. We don't think this is a long-term deal."

"Basically it was just the bone spurs hitting together," Nowitzki said. "I walked it off right there in the second quarter. I tried to loosen it up at half time but it wasn't getting loose. There's really no need right now to make things worse at this point in the season."

Fellow All-Star Josh Howard left the game with just over two minutes remaining in the game with an apparent ankle injury. The 26-year old forward returned to finish the game, but was limping noticeably.

"Josh Howard went back in pretty much on one leg," Johnson said, "Pretty much just to get a stop to secure us the win."

Terry picked up the slack for the Mavericks (60-11) in Nowitzki's absence, connecting on 10-of-17 field-goal attempts and dishing out five assists. Veteran swingman Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench to score 21 points, including five 3-pointers.

"That's what's special about this team," Terry said. "Regardless of who's out their in uniform, we believe in all 12 guys and we know if someone goes down, someone else is going to step up. That's just the nature of our team. It's been that way for the last two or three years and it just shows a sign of growth and maturity on our part."

Michael Redd scored 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting to lead the Bucks (25-45) but failed to score in the fourth quarter and missed a layup with under 10 seconds to play that would have tied the game.

"Tough, tough loss man," Redd said. "But we can learn from the experience of being in situations like this and closing games out, so I think it's good for our young guys. I think some people learn from this and we'll look toward the future.

"That was a great performance tonight by us. We couldn't finish it off though, unfortunately. But we'll take that effort every night."

Point guard Mo Williams added 17 points and eight assists for Milwaukee, which has now lost four in a row.

Sixty wins ties a franchise record for the Mavericks, who also won 60 in 2002-03 and 2005-06.

"Let me say something, 50 wins cannot be trivialized," Johnson said. " Forget 60 or anything above 60. Fifty wins in the Western Conference is tough. To talk about 60 is pretty impressive, especially with the way we started. These men come ready to practice and play hard every day. These types of games we could lose, but they just refuse to lose."

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