Toronto Star

Dirk delivers again as Mavs top Minny

Nowitzki leads Dallas in scoring for ninth straight game in win


It was a nice enough idea, in theory. Dallas coach Avery Johnson asked Dirk Nowitzki to spread the ball around early this season, getting other teammates going before looking for his own shot.

Now that Nowitzki is back to doing what he does best — launching those rainbow jumpers from all over the court — the Mavericks are on a roll again.

Nowitzki led Dallas in scoring for the ninth straight game, scoring 30 points, and the Mavericks handed the Minnesota Timberwolv­es their eighth consecutiv­e loss with a 10178 victory.

“He’s just being really aggressive,” Dallas guard Devin Harris said. “I think before he was just trying to get a lot of guys involved, and now he’s taking the approach where he has to make sure that he can take the game over when necessary.’’

TimDuncan had 17 points and 17 rebounds, Tony Parker scored 26 points and the Spurs beat the Los Angeles Clippers 88-82.

Manu Ginobili, back for San Antonio after missing five games with a sprained left index finger, scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. He had his hand wrapped to protect his injured finger.

The game was close most of the way, with the defending NBA champion Spurs opening their biggest lead at 85-77 when Parker made one of two free throws with 3:10 remaining.

Caron Butler scored 31 points and Antawn Jamison added 21 points and 12 rebounds, leading the Washington Wizards to a 108-86 win over the Seattle SuperSonic­s.

It was Butler’s third game of 30 or more points, and the second consecutiv­e game the Wizards won by more than 20 — the first time that’s happened since December 2004.

Butler finished 12-of-21 from the field, hitting three 3-pointers and converting all six of his free throws.

Pau Gasol had 28 points and 13 rebounds, Mike Miller added 25 points, and the Memphis Grizzlies sent the Heat to their seventh straight loss with a 101-94 victory.

Memphis outscored Miami 9-2 in the final two minutes.

Rudy Gay finished with 22 points for Memphis, and Mike Conley scored 11. Miller was 12-of-13 from the free throw line.

Reserve Charlie Bell scored 27 points and Andrew Bogut added 25, including a short hook shot with 19 seconds left, to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 93-89 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Bogut’s hoop capped Milwaukee’s comeback from an eight-point deficit with 3:51 remaining. Mo Williams scored 17 for the Bucks.

This was the first time Allen Iverson enjoyed watching the Philadelph­ia 76ers lose.

Iverson scored 38 points in the Denver Nuggets’ 109-96 victory over the 76ers. He had 30 against the Sixers last year, three weeks after he was traded to the Nuggets, but didn’t stick around for the end of that one, drawing an ejection in the final minutes of a 108-97 loss. Associated Press

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