It was his last miss of the night.
Nowitzki was 4-for-4 in overtime and added two free throws for 10 of his 31 points, sending the Mavericks over the Orlando Magic 109-103 Friday night.
“That was Dirk being a superstar,” teammate Josh Howard said. “He did what it took to win this game. When he does things like that, the sky’s the limit for us.”
Nowitzki had only 11 points after three quarters against Orlando’s double-teaming defense, but he scored 10 in the fourth quarter to set up a strong overtime. Nowitzki, averaging 30.3 points over his last eight games, went 12-for-19 from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line.
“I didn’t have good looks early, but at the end I had to be aggressive for us to win,” Nowitzki said after Dallas improved to 9-0 this season when he scores 30 or more.
Nowitzki had Dallas’ first six points of overtime, but Orlando tied the game again before Devin Harris’ 15-footer with 1:47 left gave the Mavericks the lead for good at 101-99.
Harris got another basket on a goaltending call against Dwight Howard for a 103-99 edge with 1:16 remaining.
Grant Hill made two free throws with 1:01 to play to pull Orlando within two, but Nowitzki swished a 16-footer with 47 seconds left and made two foul shots with 15 seconds to play to give the Mavericks a 107-101 lead.
Josh Howard scored 24 points for Dallas before fouling out with 1:06 left in regulation. Jason Terry had 22 points and Harris contributed 18 points for the Mavericks, who’ve won seven of their last eight.
Hill had 28 points in his second game this season after missing Orlando’s first 19 following surgery for a sports hernia.
The Mavericks opened the fourth quarter with an 11-3 run. Nowitzki began the surge with consecutive baskets, Josh Howard hit a 20-footer and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, and Nowitzki drained a 15-footer to Dallas in front, 77-70.
Hill scored seven points during a 10-2 spurt, and his three-point play with 1:06 remaining pulled the Magic even at 93.
Hill missed a 14-footer with 25 seconds left that could have given Orlando the lead.
“I thought Grant’s shot was down,” Magic coach Brian Hill said. “He gave it a great effort.”
Terry got the rebound and the Mavericks called a timeout with 14 seconds left to set up a final shot, but Nowitzki missed an 18-footer with 2 seconds remaining.
“I was frustrated,” Nowitzki said. “That’s a shot I need to make. I had a good look but luckily we had a good overtime.”
The Magic, who got four blocks in the third quarter from Dwight Howard, took a 67-66 edge into the final quarter.
Terry had a four-point play with 1:56 left before halftime when he hit a 3-pointer, was fouled and converted a free throw to give Dallas a 48-43 advantage. But Orlando finished the second quarter with five unanswered points to draw even at the break.
Grant Hill had to take himself out of the game twice because he was winded due to his lengthy layoff. Hill played 23 minutes in his season debut on Wednesday against the New York Knicks before logging 37 minutes against the Mavericks.
“That was a good team and we played them well,” he said. “We have to learn how to win these types of games.”
Marquis Daniels sat out for the Mavericks due to a strained neck. … Keith Van Horn returned to the Dallas rotation after missing a game due to a right hip injury. … Courtside season ticket holders gave up their seats to about 140 U.S. Army and National Guard veterans who’ve recently returned from duty in Iraq. … Kelvin Cato was out for Orlando with a sprained right ankle. … Dallas has won five of the last six meetings against Orlando, eight in a row at home.