German star Dirk Nowitzki scored 44 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to give Dallas a 119-117 victory on Monday against Denver to stay alive in the National Basketball Association playoffs.
The victory by the Mavericks denied Denver a sweep of the second round best-of-seven Western Conference series, although the Nuggets could still advance by capturing game five at home on Wednesday.
"We're not done yet. We played for one more chance," Nowitzki said. "We've still got our hands full. We will let it rip one more time and see what happens."
Nowitzki scored 19 of his 44 points in the fourth quarter while Josh Howard added 21 points and 11 rebounds and Jason Kidd contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds for Dallas.
Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points to pace the Nuggets while Chauncey Billups had 24 points and J.R. Smith added 19 as the Nuggets were foiled in a first try at advancing to their first Western Conference finals since 1985.
Either the Mavericks or Nuggets will play for a berth in next month's NBA Finals against the winner between Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers. That series is deadlocked 2-2 with game five Tuesday at Los Angeles.
Anthony scored 18 points in the first half, when the Nuggets seized a 61-53 lead.
(AFP via China Daily May 13, 2009)