NBA Game Summary - Sacramento at Dallas
(Tuesday, November 2nd)
Final Score: Dallas 107, Sacramento 98
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki played all but five minutes and finished with a game-high 33 points along with 10 rebounds to lead Dallas over Sacramento, 107-98, at American Airlines Center in the season-opener for both clubs.
Michael Finley added 18 points and six boards for the Mavericks, who avenged a first-round loss in last season's playoffs to the Kings.
In fact, the Kings and Mavericks have met in the playoffs the last three years. Last season Sacramento knocked out the Mavs in five games in the first round. Dallas eliminated the Kings in seven games in the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals, while Sacramento dismissed the Mavericks in five games in the 2002 semis.
Dallas has won five of its last six season-openers and six straight home- openers.
"It was a good start," said Dallas head coach Don Nelson
Brad Miller netted 24 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Kings, who took the court for the first time since losing to the Timberwolves in the Western Conference semifinals last season. Sacramento, which fell for the first time in a season-opener in six years, also received 21 points and 10 rebounds from Chris Webber.
The Kings never led and trailed by as many as 19 points, but were still in the game in the final minute. Miller capped off a five-point spurt on a three- point play to cut the Dallas advantage to 103-98 with 58.7 seconds remaining.
However, Sacramento failed to score again and Nowitzki sealed the victory courtesy of two free throws that put the Mavericks ahead, 105-98, with just 15.5 seconds left to play.
"We were challenged in the fourth quarter and it wasn't our strongest quarter," said Nelson. "I thought we let our guard down a little bit defensively."
The Kings, who played without starting guard Doug Christie due to a foot injury, were outshot, 49 percent to 41 percent from the field. Sacramento really struggled from behind the arc, shooting just 3-of-17 from three-point range and turned the ball over 17 times.
The Mavericks started the game with seven straight points and they led the rest of the way. Finley capped off the early spurt on a bucket with 9:34 left in the first frame.
Dallas shot 57 percent from the field in the first quarter en route to taking a 30-23 edge into the second.
The Mavericks ended the first half on a 12-6 run and took a 54-40 lead into the intermission.
Sacramento outscored Dallas 26-25 in a close third, but still trailed 79-66 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Center Erick Dampier posted 11 points in his Dallas debut. Dallas acquired Dampier, Evan Eschmeyer, Dan Dickau, and the draft rights to Steve Logan from Golden State for Christian Laettner, Eduardo Najera, two future first round picks, the draft rights to guards Luis Flores and Mladen Sekularac along with cash considerations.
This was the first of four regular season meetings between the two teams...Dallas has won five of the last six regular season meetings...It was the 113th straight sellout for the Mavs...The Mavericks recorded their 100th regular win at American Airlines Center...Sacramento was held to 98 points tonight. Last season, Dallas was 36-4 when holding its opponent under 100 points.
11/03 00:25:40 ET