Chicago (22-22) at Dallas (31-15)

Light Rain Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EST Tue Feb 8, 2005
  • TV: CSCH, FSSW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Dallas Mavericks will have coach Don Nelson back on the sidelines as they try to continue their dominance of the Chicago Bulls when the teams conclude their season series.

Chicago won 18 of 19 meetings with Dallas from Dec. 3, 1988-Dec. 29, 1997, but the Mavs have since won the last 13 in the series, including a 94-93 victory on Dec. 13.

During this streak, the Bulls have scored more than 100 points only once, while Dallas has done it in 10 of the 13 games.

The Mavs concluded a three-game road trip Sunday with their third win in four games, a 122-113 victory over the Toronto Raptors. It was Dallas’ last game under Avery Johnson, who coached in relief of the injured Nelson.

Johnson went 7-3 subbing for Nelson, who underwent shoulder surgery on Jan. 20.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points and Michael Finley added 23 Sunday as Dallas held on after taking a 25-point lead. The Raptors cut it to four before Jason Terry’s 3-pointer gave the Mavs a seven-point advantage with 36 seconds left.

“We held them off and you have to take your hat off to our guys,” Johnson said. “We talked about being persistent before the game and we were persistent. It was a good win for us.”

Chicago’s losing streak reached three on Saturday with a 108-97 defeat to the Miami Heat in the second game of a five-game road trip.

Ben Gordon led the Bulls with 25 points, Luol Deng added 18, and Kirk Hinrich and Eddy Curry each had 15 as Chicago fell back to the .500 mark.

The Bulls trailed 77-72 after three quarters, but Miami opened the final period with eight straight points to take control.

“We played in spurts tonight,” Gordon said. “For us to be a successful team, we gotta play extra hard than anybody else. We can’t play in spurts. We have to play hard for 48 minutes.”

Chicago visits the Houston Rockets on Wednesday before concluding its trip Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Bulls have dropped four of their last five in Houston, and six straight in Minneapolis.

“We are not concerned about wins and losses, we are concerned with how we play, and right now we are not playing well enough to win,” Chicago coach Scott Skiles said.

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