Mavericks 105, Bulls 83

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Dallas guard Monta Ellis scored 22 points as the Mavericks built a big lead and held on for a 105-83 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night at the United Center.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki and guard Vince Carter added 18 points each and forward Shawn Marion contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks.
The Bulls fell to 1-8 against Western Conference opponents this season. The Mavericks are 8-3 against the East. Entering Saturday's action, the West held a commanding 96-44 advantage in out-of-conference games.
Center Joakim Noah led Chicago with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Taj Gibson and Carlos Boozer added 13 points each for the Bulls, who trailed by as many as 32 points.
The Mavericks (17-13) started the game by going 2 of 12 from the field but then hit 10 of their last 11 shots in the first quarter. They finished the quarter with a 15-2 run to pull ahead 30-19.
The second quarter was more of the same as both Nowitzki and forward Jae Crowder completed four-point plays within a three-minute span. A Nowitzki jumper boosted the Dallas lead to 59-30 with 1:31 left in the first half.
By the end of the third quarter, the game appeared to be a complete laugher with the Mavs leading 86-56. The Bulls (11-17) scored the first 16 points of the fourth quarter, though, and closed to 86-72 with 6:30 left when Noah converted a lob pass and finished a three-point play.
Dallas ended its scoreless streak with a driving lay-in by Carter and then an Ellis jumper that pushed the lead back to 18 points. Chicago got back within 95-81 on a Gibson hook shot before Nowitzki capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer that made it 102-81 with 2:15 left.
The Mavericks knocked down seven of their first nine 3-point shots and finished 12 of 25.
Dallas was not only hitting jumpers but getting fouled. At one point in the second quarter, the Bulls had committed 13 fouls compared with the Mavericks' three. Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau picked up a technical for complaining to the officials midway through the second quarter.
The Mavericks ended a three-game losing streak at the United Center.
NOTES: Chicago F Luol Deng missed Saturday's game with a sore left Achilles. He has now missed eight of the last 11 games with the injury. Deng tried warming up on the court before officially being scratched. ... Bulls C Joakim Noah was in the starting lineup after missing Friday's practice with tightness in his hip. ... Dallas G Wayne Ellington was not at the game because of an illness, but he is expected to join the team in Minnesota. F Brandan Wright did not fly with the team to Chicago because of the same issue but traveled on his own and was in uniform. ... The Mavericks had at least 10 steals in their previous five games and rank second in the league, behind Miami, at 9.6 steals per game.

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