Saturday, January 5, 2008

Mavs hold on to nip Heat

The Mavericks couldn’t have expected to be in that position, needing to make two stops in the final 15 seconds to hold off the injury-ravaged Miami Heat. But that’s exactly where they were Friday night before 20,357 anxious bodies at American Airlines Center.

The Mavs did summon up enough for a solid defensive stand and a steal, preserving an unexpectedly-tough 94-89 victory over the Eastern Conference’s last-place team. Dallas (22-11) has won three straight and eight of 10, while Miami (8-25) dropped its sixth in a row.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Josh Howard, a crucial part of the late stand. “They’re an NBA team. We had a tough three quarters and were able to bring it together in the fourth.”

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