96 - 116 Final
  for this game

Mavericks blitz Bucks

Feb 26, 2009 - 5:42 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Six minutes in the Milwaukee Bucks were golden. Six minutes later, they were on their way to being toast.

The Bucks opened an eight-point lead early in the first quarter only to see the Mavericks catch fire and surge to a 116-96 victory on Wednesday led by Josh Howard's 27 points.

After Charlie Villanueva scored 13 of Milwaukee's first 15 points, Dallas erupted. The Mavericks went on a 16-0 run and never looked back.

Dallas led 33-23 after the first quarter and kept the onslaught going in the second, rolling to a 32-18 advantage that resulted in a 65-41 advantage at the break.

Milwaukee was actually within 47-39 at one point before the Mavericks went on an 18-2 spurt, including an 11-0 run that closed the half.

The Mavericks' surge over the 18 minutes of the first half was 58-26. During the run, Dallas shot 67.9 percent (19-of-28) from the field while Milwaukee shot 29.4 percent (10-of-34). Dallas made its last seven shots before intermission.

Stunningly, Dirk Nowitzki scored just five points as Dallas built its insurmountable margin. Howard led the way with 16 points as the Mavericks hit 21-of-36 shots (58 percent).

"He's getting healthy again," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of Howard. "He turned his ankle again last night in San Antonio, which was scary. There have been eight or 10 games all year where it hasn't been some kind of thing bothering him.

"He was sore today, but he played and played extremely well. That gives us a huge lift - 27 points, shooting a good percentage and seven boards."

Jason Kidd scored 19 points and Nowitzki settled for 14.

The Bucks committed 16 personal fouls in the first quarter as Dallas went 18-of-20 from the line in the opening 24 minutes.

The Bucks tried to dig out of their massive hole after intermission. They sliced seven points off the margin the third quarter and actually were within 94-83 with eight minutes left before Kidd hit a pair of baskets that sparked an 14-0 run to douse any dreams Milwaukee had of a miracle comeback.

"After last night (a loss to the Spurs), we needed this win, especially against Milwaukee because of what happened up there a month ago," Howard said. "It was a tough game last night, but we turned it around tonight."

Villanueva led the Bucks with 25 points. He scored 19 of the Bucks' 23 first-quarter points. Villanueva went 8-of-12 from the field while the rest of the team went 0-for-12 from the field in the first 12 minutes.

"We were scoring the ball early," Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles said. "Charlie, obviously, we were going to him early, seeing if he couldn't get something going against Nowitzki a little bit and he did.

"But our defense wasn't very good. We felt like they were just missing layups. We took a timeout, they gathered themselves and kind of turned it up a little bit and I believe we gave up 58 points in the last maybe 17 minutes of the first half. Tough to come back from all that."