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Dirk Nowitzki called it ''probably the ugliest game-winner I ever shot,'' and this is how he described it. But when the 19-foot jumper bounced up and then fell in as time expired, the Dallas Mavericks had a 110-108 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night. The Mavericks blew an eight-point lead in the final 90 seconds, then pulled out their third straight victory when Nowitzki's jumper that seemed to have missed instead fell through. His teammates and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did it for him, rushing onto the floor after Dallas moved into seventh place in the Western Conference.
Stephen Curry didn't shoot all that well - and Golden State won anyway. The Warriors figure that's a good sign at the start of a lengthy road trip. ''It's not necessarily going to be flash and fun every night,'' Golden State's Jermaine O'Neal said. We have a fairly young team and these games like this build the character and the image of the team.'' Curry had 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and the Warriors clamped down on the Detroit Pistons in the second half of a 104-96 victory Monday night.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Rajon Rondo is back in the Boston Celtics lineup, but Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley are out against the Utah Jazz on Monday night.
Even Mark Cuban thinks NBA officiating is moving in the right direction. New Commissioner Adam Silver's policies have won over the Dallas Mavericks owner, who had a long-running and costly feud with former commissioner David Stern.
Glen Davis joined the Los Angeles Clippers in New Orleans but wasn't cleared to play against the Pelicans on Monday night because he still needed to pass a physical. In the meantime, the former LSU star spoke of his eagerness to bring his championship experience from his Boston Celtics days to coach Doc Rivers' current team. ''A lot of people don't know the experience of champagne hitting your face.'' Davis averaged 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 45 games this season before the Orlando Magic, who are not in playoff contention, bought out his contract, making him a free agent. Davis fielded several offers, but said his decision came down to understanding ''what you're trying to accomplish for yourself and what you see yourself doing in the future.'' ''I really just felt the Clippers are headed in the right direction,'' Davis continued.
Wizards forward Nene will be sidelined for approximately six weeks with a sprained MCL in his left knee, costing the team its most reliable barometer for success while it makes a push for its first playoff berth since 2008. The Wizards have won three straight to get to 28-28, making them fifth in the weak Eastern Conference. The oft-injured Nene was acquired in a trade in March 2012, and the Wizards are a different team when he's healthy. The Wizards are expected to fill Nene's void with role players.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant has dismissed his $600,000 federal lawsuit against his former accountant.
Jason Collins heard his name called by Nets coach Jason Kidd early in the second quarter and headed to the scorer's table to check in. When he walked onto the court, Collins became the first openly gay athlete to play in one of the United States' four major professional leagues. He understood the significance attached to his appearance in an NBA game, but he had a job to do. ''It felt like, 'I've done this thousands of times before,''' Collins said after Brooklyn's 108-102 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
Although Jason Collins played only 10 1/2 minutes in his first game with the Brooklyn Nets, it was a groundbreaking appearance. Collins became the first openly gay player in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues, and Deron Williams had a season-high 30 points along with seven assists in a 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. ''I know that I can play in the NBA and it felt good to be out there tonight,'' Collins said.
Thomas Robinson got it started when he blocked a shot by Corey Brewer. Victor Claver then grabbed the rebound for Portland, leading to Will Barton's dunk on the other end. The fourth-quarter sequence put the crowd on its feet, and the Trail Blazers went on to a 108-97 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night. ''Adrenaline shot through me, I was hyped,'' said Robinson, who had 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, providing a spark in the absence of injured All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge.
Patrick Beverley is not the first option for the Houston offense. That didn't keep him from making the biggest shot of the night in the Rockets' 115-112 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Beverley's 3-pointer with 34.3 seconds to play put Houston ahead for good, then his two free throws with 20 seconds to go, the last of his 12 fourth-quarter points, helped seal the win. ''Patrick's not afraid at all,'' Houston coach Kevin McHale said.
This time, the Sacramento Kings enjoyed their trip to Denver. Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, Rudy Gay had 32 and the Kings used 39 third-quarter points to race past the Nuggets 109-95 on Sunday night. DeMarcus Cousins added 27 points for the Kings, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. It was Sacramento's first win in Denver since a 118-115 victory on April 5, 2008.
The Washington Wizards lost Nene to a knee injury, and then won the game with a strong effort on defense. John Wall scored 21 points, Bradley Beal had 17 and the Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 on Sunday night. Washington had a 66-63 lead midway through the third quarter when Nene departed with a sprained left knee. The Wizards then held the Cavaliers to 11 fourth-quarter points to return to .500 at 28-28 on the season.
With their leading scorer stuck at home in Florida resting a sprained right ankle, the Orlando Magic slumped to their 15th straight road loss Sunday. They'll be without Arron Afflalo again when they visit Washington on Tuesday, hoping to avoid matching a franchise record with a 16th straight road defeat. Kyle Lowry scored 28 points, DeMar DeRozan had 24 and the Raptors beat Orlando 105-90 Sunday night for their fifth win in six games. The Magic have not won away from home since beating the Bulls in Chicago on Dec. 16.
Jason Collins would have none of it after becoming the NBA's first active openly gay player. So I didn't have time to really think about history,'' Collins said at a crowded press conference less than an hour before his Brooklyn Nets faced the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Nets earlier Sunday and coach Jason Kidd said he would play against the Lakers. Collins said he was aware of the magnitude of his signing, but repeatedly said he was most concerned with learning the Nets' schemes.
LeBron James watched from the bench in a stylish gray suit, and with the game deadlocked at halftime, he took off his necktie. Stout defense plus Chris Bosh's outside shooting and a boost from Miami's reserves helped the Heat overcome the absence of their MVP on Sunday to beat the Chicago Bulls 93-79. ''We were missing a pretty big man,'' Dwyane Wade said. Former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden replaced James for his first NBA start since December 2009, and reserves Chris Andersen, Michael Beasley and Ray Allen helped the Heat pull away in the second half.
LeBron James was held out by the Miami Heat on Sunday against the Chicago Bulls because of his broken nose, missing a game for only the second time this season. Coach Erik Spoelstra said the decision, announced less than two hours before tipoff, was ''somewhat close.'' Replacing him in the lineup was center Greg Oden, who made his first NBA start since December 2009. But he had no problem with the decision, Spoelstra said. Even if James returns for the Heat's home game Thursday against the New York Knicks, he'll get a week off - a rare idle stretch for one of the NBA's most durable stars.
NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant marveled at what Jamal Crawford did to his team. Crawford scored 36 points to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-117 on Sunday afternoon. ''You've got confidence once you start seeing the ball go in the rim.'' Matt Barnes scored 24 points, Chris Paul had 18 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, Blake Griffin scored 20 points and DeAndre Jordan added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game skid and beat the team with the league's best record. ''Doc (Clippers coach Doc Rivers) was on us, telling us that in the playoffs, you're going to lose a home game at some point and you've got to be able to win on the road.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Thunder center Kendrick Perkins will miss Sundays' game against the Los Angeles Clippers with a strained left groin.