Wednesday , Feb , 01 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Red-hot Dallas holds off Chicago

=== Red-hot Dallas holds off Chicago ===

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Josh Howard scored 22 points and pulled down
nine rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks built a large first-half lead and held
on to defeat Chicago, 98-94, at American Airlines Center.

Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21 points and seven boards while Jason Terry
tallied 13 points for Dallas, which has won nine straight games.

Kirk Hinrich had a season-high 28 points, 26 of which came in the second half
to lead the comeback attempt. Ben Gordon and Andres Nocioni chipped in 14
points each for the Bulls, who had a four-game winning streak halted.

Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.

The Mavericks dominated the opening 24 minutes, bolting out to a 32-18 first
quarter lead that was built up to 24 points, 58-34, by halftime.

Dallas shot 52.6 percent from the floor to Chicago’s 29.3 percent, and went up
by as many as 30.

Chicago flipped the script in the second half, however, doubling its point
total in the third quarter alone to pull within 78-68. The key stretch came in
the latter stages of the frame when the Bulls ripped off a 16-0 run to pull
within 73-61.

Hinrich had nine points during the run, including a three-pointer with 2:39
remaining to finish it off.

“I just wanted to get out and run and push the issue because really that’s the
only way we had a chance to get back in the game,” Hinrich said.

The Bulls cut their deficit to six points, 82-76, early in the fourth quarter
on a pair of Chandler free throws, but Terry quickly responded with a trey to
make it a nine-point game.

The trend continued throughout the stanza, as Chicago made mini runs to make
up distance on the Mavs, only to see Dallas answer repeatedly to clinch the

“We’re going to take the win no matter what. It was a good win for us and it
kept the streak alive,” Howard said.

Game Notes

Dallas guard Devin Harris played despite being considered questionable with an
ailing shoulder. He finished with three points…The Mavericks are 17-4 as the
host this season. They have won six straight at home…This was the start of a
seven-game road swing for Chicago, which is 10-11 away from home.