Tuesday , Dec , 19 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Nowitzki leads Mavs over Kings

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki poured in 29 points and pulled
down 13 rebounds, as Dallas ran out to a big lead early, on the way to a
109-91 win over the Kings.

Josh Howard tallied 28 points. He and Nowitzki combined to shoot 24-of-33 from
the field, as the Mavericks won their fourth straight. Jason Terry had 22
points for Dallas.

“We’re just trying to be more consistent from what we’ve done in the past,”
Howard said. “We’re just going out there and doing our system.”

The Kings played without their leading scorer, as guard Kevin Martin missed
the game with a sprained right ankle. Brad Miller scored 19 points and Kenny
Thomas had a solid inside game with 15 points and 15 boards, but Sacramento
lost for the eighth time in 10 games and fell into a last-place tie with the
Clippers in the Pacific Division.

“We aren’t shooting the ball well and we need to start off better in the first
quarter,” Sacramento’s Shareef Abdur-Rahim said. “We make it hard when we
allow other teams to lead by 12 to 15 points each game and then expect to come
back strong later on in the game.”

Terry’s three-pointer boosted Dallas to an early 11-4 advantage, and the Kings
couldn’t keep up without Martin. Sacramento shot just under 40 percent from
the field. Mike Bibby had 10 points and six assists, but struggled by making
3-of-12 shots.

The Kings fell further behind less than three minutes later as Howard’s jumper
moved the margin to 19-5. The lead reached as high as 17 in the period before
Ron Artest’s layup cut the deficit to 33-18 going into the second.

Sacramento could never catch up. In fact, the Kings didn’t get within double
digits the remainder of the half, falling behind 54-40 at the break.

The final 24 minutes saw a glimmer of hope for the Kings though. Abdur-
Rahim’s layup brought his team within 73-67 with a minute left in the third,
but Greg Buckner countered with a jumper and Terry banged in a three to close
the period.

Sacramento didn’t get closer than nine in the final quarter. Dallas used a
21-8 run to make it a rout. Nowitzki’s jumper capped the push, making it 99-77
with under five minutes left.

Game Notes

Dallas has scored over 100 points in 15 of the last 16 meetings… Dallas has
won three straight meetings…Abdur-Rahim also had 15 points and Artest scored
14…Buckner had 14 points…The Kings dominated in the paint, 46-28…Bibby
and teammate John Salmons combined to shoot 5-for-20…Dallas has held at
least a 10-point lead in all 18 victories this season.