Mavericks vs. Nets: Dirk Nowitzki Delivers Dagger for Dallas in Final Seconds

Jim MancariCorrespondent IJanuary 22, 2011

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 23:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on April 23, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

What do Snooki and Kim Kardashian have in common?

Well, besides being grossly overpaid for doing basically nothing, the two reality television stars were on hand at “The Rock” in Newark to see the New Jersey Nets take on the Dallas Mavericks.

The ladies were treated to a fantastic game, but the Nets ultimately fell 87-86 in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.

The Mavericks ended their five-game road losing streak with the win tonight and have now swept the season series against the Nets. The Nets had their two-game winning streak snapped and have not won three games in a row since Jan. 2009.

Dallas came out strong, especially in the paint. Tyson Chandler had 10 of the Mavericks’ 20 points in the first eight minutes. But the Nets, led by the weaving abilities of Devin Harris, kept the game close.

The Mavericks went on a cold spell and did not hit a field goal in the final four minutes of the first quarter.

Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar once again gave New Jersey great energy off the bench. The Nets put together a 9-2 run to close out the first and took a 26-22 lead after one.

The Nets led by as many as nine in the second quarter, but Jason Terry provided the Mavericks with instant offense, scoring seven points in just under 10 minutes of play.

Dirk Nowitzki started off cold from the field but gained steamed during a 10-0 Dallas run, which gave the Mavericks a three-point lead at the break. Nowitzki led all scorers with 15 points in the half.

After the second half opened with an array of foul calls, the Mavericks gained momentum beginning with a four-point play from DeShawn Stevenson. Nowitzki remained hot in the third, which helped Dallas take a seven-point lead.

Eight straight points from the Nets gave them a one-point lead with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The teams traded free throws and wound up tied at 62 apiece. Farmar then drained a three to give the Nets the lead. Dallas fought back to tie the game at 68 heading into the fourth quarter.

Both teams came out with great energy to start the fourth. Back-to-back three-pointers from J.J. Barea gave Dallas a seven-point lead with just over seven minutes to play.

But the Nets clawed all the way back and eventually took the lead on an 8-0 run capped off by a corner three by Vujacic.

New Jersey led by two with 50 seconds remaining. Chandler hit 1-of-2 free throws to cut the deficit to one.

As cold as he was from the field all night, Nowitzki got the kind roll on a fadeaway jumper to give Dallas the lead with only six seconds left in regulation.

The Nets had a chance late, but a poor inbound sequence resulting in an air ball from Farmar sealed New Jersey’s fate.

Brook Lopez scored a game-high 24 points. Harris had a double-double with 15 points and 11 assists. Nowitzki finished with 23 points.

The Nets remain at home to take on the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night as they will try to start another winning streak.