NBA Game Summary - Dallas at Chicago
(Monday, December 13th)
Final Score: Dallas 94, Chicago 93
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Michael Finley scored a season-high 27 points and hit a game-winning jumper with 3.2 seconds left as Dallas downed Chicago 94-93 at the United Center.
NBA scoring leader Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21 points and nine rebounds but struggled from the field for the Mavericks, who recorded their 13th consecutive triumph over the Bulls. Josh Howard compiled 16 points and 10 rebounds in Dallas' fourth straight win on the road and second in a row overall.
Eddy Curry hit on 9-of-11 field-goal attempts in a 20-point performance for the Bulls, who were attempting to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Rookies Luol Deng and Ben Gordon chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively, while Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
"We're not happy just because we played them close," said Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich. "We want to win."
Chicago appeared on its way to victory after Gordon sank a three-pointer from the right corner with 12 seconds left for a 93-91 lead.
Three seconds later, Nowitzki, who made just 4-of-18 shots, drove the lane and drew a foul by Chandler. He hit the first bonus attempt, then clanked the potential game-tying second, but the rebound fell off a Bulls player and out of play.
Finley then took the inbounds pass, stepped to his left, and swished a 12- footer to put Dallas in front to stay.
"I just got a good look and let it go," Finley said. "We were fortunate to win. (Chicago) made some costly turnovers."
Hinrich then dribbled down the court and threw up a 20-foot shot that missed the mark as time expired.
The Bulls held a 70-65 advantage after three quarters and scored the first five points of the fourth, including a Hinrich shot from long distance, to lengthen its cushion to 10 points. The Mavericks answered with an 8-0 spurt, the last six coming by Nowitzki, to cut their deficit to 75-73 with 8:15 to play.
Dallas grabbed an 83-82 edge on a Finley bucket with 4:50 remaining before Chicago responded with an 8-1 flurry capped by a Gordon three-pointer to go up 90-84 heading into the final three minutes.
A three-point play by Howard followed by Erick Dampier's putback brought the Mavs within one and Curry committed a senseless foul on Finley after a missed shot by Chandler with 16 seconds left.
"Eddy said he did not know the time and score," said Bulls head coach Scott Skiles. "We did not play very smart and that cost us. We made mistakes that are not NBA game-winning type things. Still, Ben Gordon hit a big shot, we executed perfectly, and we had a shot to win."
Finley promptly made good on both free throws to send Dallas back in front, but Gordon gave Chicago the lead right back with his baseline trey.
Curry poured in 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first quarter as Chicago grabbed a 23-20 lead at the period's end. The Bulls extended their advantage to eight points midway through the second on a Chandler short hook which made the score 38-30, but Finley ignited an 11-2 run with consecutive jumpers to give the Mavs a one-point edge with 2:13 left in the half.
The teams then traded baskets before Deng scored on a transition layup with 29 seconds and Chris Duhon put in a running one-hander in the final moments to put the Bulls up 46-43. Finley then drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull Dallas even at the break.
Chicago snapped a 52-52 tie with three minutes gone by in the third quarter by reeling off 11 of the game's next 14 points and led 70-62 in the final seconds of the period before Finley hit another long-distance shot to close out the stanza.
Dallas guard Jerry Stackhouse missed the game after hurting his right hand in a Sunday practice...Chicago's last win over Dallas came on December 29, 1997...The Mavs improved to 8-3 on the road thus far...Dallas guard Marquis Daniels recorded a career-high eight steals, while Duhon dished out a personal-best nine assists...Finley's previous season-high of 26 points was set Saturday at Houston.
12/14 00:12:23 ET