Mavericks 124, Bulls 98

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DALLAS (AP)—Interim coach Pete Myers has coached only one game for the Chicago Bulls, and he’s already frustrated.

And the Bulls lost again, a day after Bill Cartwright was fired.

Myers got called for a technical foul late in the third quarter, near the end of a game-turning run by the Dallas Mavericks in their 124-98 victory Tuesday night. The Bulls have lost six straight.

“I was frustrated because it seemed like they were getting calls we weren’t getting,” Myers said. “I wanted the guys to know that I’ll fight to the end for them.”

By then it was too late.

Michael Finley scored a season-high 28 points, including 13 during a 33-15 third-quarter run in which the Mavs made 12 straight shots to turn the game into another lopsided loss for Chicago (4-11).

“Once they got down, they got that `here we go again’ look on their faces,” Finley said.

A minute after Myers was called for a technical, Antawn Jamison’s three-point play capped the spurt, putting the Mavericks ahead 100-72 with 1:19 left. They made 16 of 21 shots while scoring 41 points in the quarter, matching their highest-scoring quarter of the season.

Cartwright was fired Monday, a day after Chicago’s 110-99 loss at Sacramento. A key to Chicago’s first three championships as a starting center, he was 51-100 as coach since taking over Dec. 28, 2001.

This season has been a major disappointment for the Bulls, who a team that expected to take a step forward with youngsters Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler and the addition of veteran Scottie Pippen to the lineup.

“We never blamed it on him (Cartwright). This is not one person’s fault,” Chandler said.

Pippen missed the second half Tuesday night after taking an elbow to the face. Team officials said he had a bruised left eye.

“Our guys showed some fight in the first half. When Scottie came out, we became disorganized,” Myers said. “We took some bad shots that led to some easy baskets for them. We did things that were beneficial to them.”

Pippen’s injury occurred with about two minutes left in the first half when he was hit near his left temple by Dirk Nowitzki’s elbow when both went up in anticipation of a rebound on the Chicago end of the court. There was no foul called on the play.

By that point, the Mavericks were up 61-50 and starting to pull away.

The Bulls stayed close through the game’s first 10 minutes, but Finley’s 15-footer with 1:29 left made it 29-27, and the Mavs led throughout. That started a 9-2 run to end the first quarter while Nowitzki and Steve Nash were getting a breather in the first of their four games in five nights.

“We knew with a new coach they would have a lot of energy early,” Finley said. “We withstood that energy, and once it work off we got into what we do.”

Chandler led the Bulls with 17 points and six rebounds. Jamal Crawford had 16 points.

Dirk Nowitzki added 19 points and nine rebounds while Jamison had 15 points for the Mavericks, who won their fourth straight and are undefeated in eight home games. Dallas has won 11 straight against the Bulls.

Myers’ expected two-game stint as coach continues Wednesday night at defending champion San Antonio. The Bulls then don’t play again until a home game Monday, and probably will have a new coach by then.

General manager John Paxson said he hoped to name a replacement for Cartwright within a week. Former Phoenix coach Scott Skiles and former Orlando coach Doc Rivers—a Chicago native—were among the names floated as possibilities.

Myers, drafted by the Bulls in the sixth round of the 1986 draft, played for five teams in his eight NBA seasons, including two single-season stints with Chicago. He is now in his fifth season on the Bulls staff, serving as a scout and assistant coach.

When Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls after the 1993 championship, Myers replaced him in the lineup the next season. That was Myers’ best as aplayer with 7.9 points and three assists a game.

Notes

The last time Chicago beat Dallas was Dec. 29, 1997 at Chicago, when Michael Jordan scored 41 points and Dennis Rodman had 27 rebounds. … Danny Fortson had 13 rebounds, his high with the Mavericks. … Bulls players Kendall Gill and Marcus Fizer were also called for technicals. … Dallas coach Don Nelson won his 1,106th game, four short of Pat Riley for second on the career list. … Finley has 135 points the last seven games, after scoring just 75 thefirst seven.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Chicago
J. Crawford J. Crawford
6-13,  16 Pts
3 Rebs, 8 Assists
 Dallas
M. Finley M. Finley
12-18,  28 Pts
2 Rebs, 6 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists