|Mavericks win in Kidd's home debut in Dallas|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 26 February 2008 00:18|
The All-Star point guard couldn't help but feel a bit anxious when he took the court in Dallas for his first home game for the Mavericks in more than 11 years.
``It's always a little nerve-racking coming back,'' Kidd said. ``I was so excited to have this opportunity and this second chance to come back and play for the franchise. I just wanted to make a good impression.''
He did that, and then some.
In his first home game since being traded from New Jersey last week, Kidd had 11 points with nine rebounds and eight assists in a 102-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
``I was happy to be back home,'' Kidd said. ``This is where it all started for me.''
Kidd was the No. 2 overall pick by the Mavericks in 1994, and played in Dallas until he was traded to Phoenix early in the 1996-97 season. After getting a loud ovation when he was the last Mavericks starter introduced, instead of Dirk Nowitzki as usual, Kidd had the fans cheering a minute into the game with an assist on Josh Howard's 3-pointer for the first basket that put Dallas ahead to stay.
``He still catches you off guard sometimes. It's been a lot of fun,'' said Nowitzki, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds.
In other NBA games, it was: San Antonio 89, Atlanta 74; Boston 104, the Los Angeles Clippers 76; Toronto 102, Indiana 98; and Washington 95, New Orleans 92.
At Dallas, Kidd came up short of his 100th career triple-double, but was involved in significant plays throughout the game as Chicago kept coming back from double-digit deficit.
Ben Gordon had 25 points to lead five Chicago players in double figures.
The Mavericks (38-19) won their 11th straight home game and are a game back in the Southwest Division behind San Antonio, where they next play Thursday. Dallas is only 1 1/2 games behind the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers. Those teams meet Sunday.
Dallas has won three straight since losing its first game after the All-Star game with Kidd, who had practiced with the team only once by then.
``We've improved from game to game,'' Nowitzki said. ``If you look at the West, you have to adjust quickly.''
Spurs 89, Hawks 74
Tim Duncan had 23 points and 10 rebounds and San Antonio earned its sixth straight win despite scoring a franchise-low five points in the opening quarter.
Tony Parker added 15 points and nine assists and Manu Ginobili scored 13 for San Antonio, which shot just 6 percent (1-for-17) in the first quarter. The five points were a team record for any quarter, but the Spurs rebounded nicely from their shooting woes.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the visiting Hawks, who have dropped two in a row.
Celtics 104, Clippers 76
At Los Angeles, Paul Pierce and James Posey scored 17 points apiece to lead Boston's well-balanced offense.
Fresh from ending a three-game losing streak that was their longest of the season, the Celtics had little difficulty making it two wins in a row. They moved in front for good 5 minutes into the game and improved their NBA-best record to 43-12.
Tim Thomas scored 14 points for the Clippers, last in the Pacific Division with a 19-35 mark.
Raptors 102, Pacers 98
Chris Bosh had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead Toronto to the win at Indianapolis.
Carlos Delfino scored 23 points and made six of seven 3-pointers, and T.J. Ford added 16 points and seven assists for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Pacers this season and won four of their past five overall.
Danny Granger and Marquis Daniels each had 20 points, and Granger added 10 rebounds for the Pacers.
Wizards 95, Hornets 92
DeShawn Stevenson drained a fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer and visiting Washington handed New Orleans its third straight loss.
Stevenson's buzzer-beater capped a career night for the Wizards guard as he scored 33 points.
Chris Paul scored 22 for New Orleans.
Pistons 98, Nuggets 93
Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince and Richard Hamilton had 20 points apiece to lead Detroit at Denver.
Allen Iverson had a game-high 28 points and Carmelo Anthony had 23 for the Nuggets, who lost their third in a row. Nuggets assistant Adrian Dantley served as the head coach because George Karl missed the game with the flu.