124 - 114 Final - OT
  for this game

Nowitzki closes out Knicks in OT

Nov 17, 2008 - 4:56 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Most of the second half was a nightmare for Dirk Nowitzki, but the Final minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime were quite another story.

Nowitzki scored a season-high 39 points as the Dallas Mavericks overcame a 15-point deficit and snapped a five-game losing streak with a 124-114 overtime

victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

In danger of losing six in a row for the first time in over eight years and falling to 2-8, the Mavericks rallied from seven points down in the final 3 1/2 minutes of regulation and then outscored New York 12-2 in the extra period.

Nowitzki played a hand in the late comeback and then in the overtime surge. He scored seven points in overtime and finished off the victory by hitting a long three-pointer with 2:57 remaining for a 120-112 lead.

"He made an adjustment at the end," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "He took a couple of jump shots and was upset with himself that he was not taking it strong and he just willed the team to a win."

Nowitzki's play down the stretch came on a night in which he scored 26 points in the first half and then missed his first seven shots of the second half.

"I think I had a great rhythm there in the first half," Nowitzki said. "I took some tough shots there in the third quarter and kind of shot myself out of the game a little bit and then in the fourth and the game was on the line I still missed a couple of shots. But we have to get off this losing streak, so I did whatever I had to do."

"That's Dirk being Dirk," reserve forward James Singleton added. "That's what he does. He's a hard matchup for anybody. He can shoot the lights out of the ball. So if you try to press up on him, he can get to the bucket."

Before Nowitzki came alive again, the Mavericks hung around by getting strong performances from Josh Howard and Terry. Howard scored 12 of his 31 points in the fourth while Terry scored 16 of his 20 in the second half, including a game-tying runner with 39 seconds remaining.

"I had the same shot two nights ago," Terry said. "That one would have sent it in overtime. I wasn't going to miss this one. I wanted to fly out of here like the Jet and hit the game-winner. I didn't put my head down. I told Dirty (Nowitzki), we need you now and he stepped and got the first two or three buckets in overtime."

Prior to Terry's shot, Nowitzki hit a 16-footer with 3:14 remaining followed by a fadeway with 1:27 that cut the deficit to 112-110 and setting the stage for Terry.

After Terry made the shot, New York missed three chances to regain the lead. Following timeouts by both teams, Jason Kidd inbounded to Terry, whose 16- footer over Chris Duhon clanked off the rim.

Despite Terry's miss, the Mavericks knew they had regained momentum and once overtime started, they held the Knicks to 0-of-9 from the floor, including 0-of-5 from beyond the arc.

The meltdown cost the Knicks a seventh win in 10 games, which would have been their best 10-game start since the lockout-shortened 1998-1999 campaign heading into Tuesday's contest at Boston.

"We had opportunities," Duhon said. "They just did a better job of executing at the end. That is something that will come with time. We have to get used to winning games late in the fourth quarter when each possession is valuable."

Zach Randolph became the first Knick since Patrick Ewing to record eight straight double-doubles as he finished with 27 points and 18 rebounds. Quentin Richardson scored 12 of his 17 in the fourth quarter for New York, which almost blew all of a 30-point lead Friday against Oklahoma City.

Randolph had his double-double by halftime as New York took a 15-point lead midway through the second quarter. They settled for a 64-57 edge, which could have been a four-point lead if Nowitzki's buzzer-beating 3-pointer counted.

Jamal Crawford and Duhon added 16 apiece for New York, which shot 43 percent (45-of-104) and missed its final 14 shots.

"Tonight it just didn't happen," Crawford said. "Shots that we normally hit, all of us, didn't go in tonight. Dirk Nowitzki was on fire, Jason Terry had a good game and they took control of the game."