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Howard, bench lead Mavs past Trail Blazers

Feb 5, 2009 - 5:46 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Josh Howard scored 23 points and Jason Terry and Brandon Bass each had strong games off the bench to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 104-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Howard was 11-of-17 from the field to pace Dallas, which has won four straight. Terry added 20 points and Bass had 19.

Bass scored on a reverse layup and then added a three-point play to give the Mavericks a 98-78 lead with just over three minutes left.

Portland pulled within 100-97 after a pair of 3-pointers by Brandon Roy, but Terry and Dirk Nowitzki each hit a pair of free throws in the final 10 seconds to ice the win.

"It's a great win. It's a tiebreaker game, which is huge and It's a high-quality team and a very difficult game," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "I'm happy we won. Around the last 25 seconds, it's an example of needing to respect the talent in this league. They made two great plays and we made two horrible plays, it's as simple as that."

Roy scored 26 points to lead the Blazers.

"We win three of the four quarters against this team and we just don't pull it out," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "You've got to make plays down the stretch, you've got to know what you're doing and make your reads and tonight we didn't do that."

Jason Kidd scored seven points, grabbed seven rebounds and had 10 assists for the Mavericks.

With the 10 assists, Kidd moved into fourth all-time on the NBA's career assist list with 9,895. He passed Oscar Robertson (9,887 assists) and trails only John Stockton (15,806), Mark Jackson (10,334) and Magic Johnson (10,141).

"I thought Kidd played an amazing game all around," Carlisle said. "He ran the team, huge stops defensively down the stretch on Roy, got rebounds and I think brought an air of confidence to our team during some periods where we were struggling."

"I am gray and old, but I will wait until it is over to reflect on it," Kidd said. It is a great honor, though, not only for me, but for my teammates, because they are the ones who put the ball in the basket. At the end of my career, I can thank those guys that I played with that helped me achieve that goal."

Howard had 15 of his points in the first half to help Dallas jump in front by as many as 16. He was 7-of-9 from the field before the break while Bass and Terry each had 12 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points, Jerryd Bayless had 14, Travis Outlaw 13 and Rudy Fernandez 12 for Portland, which had a five-game win streak snapped.

"We can't allow a team like this to get going and try to play from behind," Roy said. "We just turned it on, but we've got to learn to come out and attack these teams first. Dallas is good, especially at home, and it was just tough to get into a rhythm tonight."