Sunday , Jun , 04 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – An NBA Finals filled with two first-time
participants is set, as Dirk Nowitzki brought Dallas back from an early 18-
point deficit to close out the Phoenix Suns, 102-93, in Game 6 of the Western
Conference finals at US Airways Center. Nowitzki continued his ascent to
stardom with another clutch playoff performance, dropping in 24 points
and pulling down 10 rebounds, one game after a 50-point performance that
will go down as one of the greatest individual performances in franchise
history. Josh Howard posted 20 points and 15 rebounds and provided much
more on the defensive end of the court, collecting three steals and
continuously frustrating Shawn Marion and Tim Thomas. Jerry Stackhouse added
19 points and Jason Terry donated 17 for Dallas, which won its first Game 6
since June 2, 1988 at home against the Los Angeles Lakers in the conference
finals. The Mavericks outscored Phoenix 40-27 in the deciding fourth quarter
and will now host Miami in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, beginning Thursday.
Dallas won both contests against the Heat this season. The Suns season ended
Saturday despite 19 points and nine assists from Steve Nash and a game-high
30 points and 11 rebounds from Boris Diaw. Leandro Barbosa added 14 points and
Marion posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, but the Suns
tired down the stretch after using just seven players. Phoenix was playing
in its eighth conference finals, but hasn’t advanced to the NBA Finals since
falling to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1993.