Mavericks 92, Pistons 88

Preview | Box Score | Recap

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP)—Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points to help the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 92-88 Sunday in a matchup of the top teams from the Eastern and Western conferences.

Detroit was coming off its first 5-0 West Coast trip in 15 years, but played without All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups, who sustained a groin injury in Friday’s win at Phoenix.

Devin Harris added 22 for the Mavericks, who avenged a 92-82 home loss to the Pistons on Dec. 7 by ending Detroit’s five-game winning streak.

Ronald Murray scored 18 points to lead six Pistons in double figures, but Detroit had only one other player score.

The Pistons led 73-69 early in the fourth, but the Mavericks answered with a 9-0 run that included a three-point play by former Piston Jerry Stackhouse.

Detroit tied the game when Erick Dampier was called for a flagrant foul after shoving Richard Hamilton in the back on a fast-break dunk attempt. Hamilton split the free throws, tying the game at 81, but Rasheed Wallace missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.

Hamilton, who entered the game shooting 87.1 percent from the line, then missed two more free throws—dropping him to 2-for-7 in the quarter.

That let Dallas take an 85-81 lead on two Jason Terry jumpers. After a Detroit miss, Hamilton fouled the player Detroit traded to get him, and Stackhouse hit two free throws to make a six-point game with 1:35 left.

After Chris Webber missed a free throw on a potential three-point play, Nowitzki iced the game with a long 3-pointer.

Detroit missed six of eight free-throw attempts in the fourth. Dallas was 7-of-9 from the line in the fourth.

The Pistons led 50-46 at the half, despite failing to pull down an offensive rebound.

Dallas, though, scored the first seven points of the third, including five from Nowitzki.

The teams traded the lead until the Pistons turned steals into back-to-back fast-break baskets and a 69-67 lead going into the fourth.

Notes

Hamilton picked up his 12th technical foul after arguing a first-quarter call. He left the game with 1:27 to play after being cut above the left eye in a collision with Webber. … Pistons coach Flip Saunders said before the game that Billups could have played, but the team wanted to be cautious to avoid aggravating what appears to be a minor injury. … Detroit had five offensive rebounds in the third quarter after the first-half drought.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Dallas
D. Nowitzki D. Nowitzki
11-20,  28 Pts
12 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Detroit
R. Murray R. Murray
7-15,  18 Pts
1 Rebs, 6 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists

Scoreboard

Sunday, Mar 18