Milwaukee (9-17) at Dallas (19-10)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 85° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Sun Jan 2, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks went 9-4 in December, and have won four of their last five overall. But at home they’ve hardly had the look of a championship contender.

They’ll look to follow up on the positive start to their five-game homestand when they meet the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dallas, which went an NBA-best 36-5 at AmericanAirlines Arena in 2003-04, got off to a mediocre 8-6 start at home this season before opening this homestand with a 113-94 rout of Boston on Tuesday.

Nowitzki scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Mavericks opened a 28-point, first-half lead and never looked back. Dallas had lost three of its previous four home games.

“It’s nice to win on the road, but we’ve been letting games slip away here,” Nowitzki said. “We have to find a way to get that right.”

Michael Finley scored 21 points and Erick Dampier matched his season high with 16—all in the first half for Dallas, which shot a blistering 65 percent (28-of-43) over the opening 24 minutes.

“We got stops, we rebounded, we really pushed the ball. We got the ball in the open court,” Nowitzki said. “That’s where we want to be the whole season. We haven’t really been taking advantage of that.”

The Bucks had won three straight before Saturday’s 105-90 loss at Houston. Even though the Rockets were without center Yao Ming due to bronchitis, Tracy McGrady lit Milwaukee up for 42 points as they avenged a 111-87 loss to the Bucks on Tuesday.

“They played a lot more aggressively than the last game and they were hitting their shots,” said Michael Redd, who led the Bucks with 21 points. “Tracy had a big night and we were stagnant on the offensive end. Tracy played tremendously and he kept them going all game.”

Milwaukee is 1-1 on its four-game trip, which ends Tuesday at Indiana. The Bucks have lost three of their last four away from the Bradley Center.

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