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News » Nowitzki has the last word Mavericks star's jumper at buzzer sinks Bucks in OT

Nowitzki has the last word Mavericks star's jumper at buzzer sinks Bucks in OT

Nowitzki has the last word  Mavericks star's jumper at buzzer sinks Bucks in OT By CHARLES F. GARDNER

Everybody wondered what Brandon Jennings could do for an encore after his 55-point explosion against Golden State on Saturday night.

The answer came from a 20-year-old who seems to have an answer for every occasion, but Dirk Nowitzki had the final answer.

The Dallas Mavericks star hit an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer of overtime, lifting Dallas to a 115-113 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night at the Bradley Center.

Nowitzki finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds as Dallas (8-3) ended the Bucks' four-game winning streak. Drew Gooden added 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Jason Terry had 19 points off the bench for the Mavericks.

After being limited to four points in the first half, Jennings teamed with guard Luke Ridnour to fuel a second-half comeback. Jennings finished with 25 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

Ersan Ilyasova added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Bucks (5-3), and Ridnour added 17 points and six assists.

Jennings made a huge steal in the final minute of regulation and scored a go-ahead layup as the Bucks quickly got the ball downcourt. His 6-foot runner made it 104-102 with 45.6 seconds left.

But Terry hit a baseline jumper to tie the score with 32.2 seconds remaining, and Jennings missed a long two-pointer in the final seconds of regulation.

A jump ball was called with seven-tenths of a second left, but Dallas controlled the tip and the game went to overtime.

"He's for real, without question," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of Jennings. "When you average 44 over a two-game period and hit nine out of 10 threes, that's big-time."

But the Mavericks often sent two defenders at Jennings and tried to get the ball out of his hands, and he missed eight of nine shots in the first half.

The Bucks rallied in the third quarter, sparked by Ridnour, who drilled 3 three-pointers in the period as Milwaukee trimmed a 12-point halftime deficit to 85-82 entering the final quarter.

Then it was Jennings getting back in form as he scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of three-pointers.

Dallas rolled to a 74-56 lead early in the third quarter, and Bucks coach Scott Skiles had seen enough. He replaced all five starters after a timeout with 9:22 left in the quarter, inserting Ridnour, Jodie Meeks, Ilyasova, Dan Gadzuric and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

Gooden was in the starting lineup for the second straight game due to Erick Dampier's unspecified illness, which put him in a Detroit hospital Sunday night. Carlisle refused to say the exact nature of the illness but said Dampier was "symptom-free" and would meet the team in Milwaukee after the game.

Dampier started feeling ill while in the layup line prior to the Mavericks' game at Detroit and had to be taken to a hospital for tests.

Gooden sparked the Mavericks with 12 points in the first quarter on 5-of-5 shooting, and Dallas grabbed a 33-28 lead after the opening period.

The Bucks' defense again faltered early as the Mavericks sank 65% of their field goal tries in the first quarter (13 of 20).

Skiles said before the game the Bucks needed to regain their defensive intensity after losing it against Golden State on Saturday, when the Warriors shot 56% for the game.

"We were trending last year in a positive direction for a while, and then for whatever reason we would just go south," Skiles said.

The Bucks continued to fight from behind in the second quarter and trailed, 51-42, when Dallas guard Jose Barea drained a three-pointer. But Andrew Bogut scored off a pick-and-roll feed from Jennings, and Mbah a Moute fought hard for an offensive rebound and scored. Two free throws by Carlos Delfino cut the Dallas lead to 51-48 with 4:38 left in the quarter.

The Bucks were still close until the Mavericks went on an 11-2 run to end the half. After a scramble for a loose ball, Terry swished a wide-open three-pointer, and Nowitzki scored on a drive on Dallas' next possession.

The Bucks double-teamed Nowitzki on the Mavericks' final possession of the half, and Nowitzki kicked the ball out to Jason Kidd, who hit a 26-foot three-pointer with six-tenths of a second left to boost Dallas' lead to 66-54 at intermission.

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

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