Mavs extend home win streak to 20, win 12th straight overall

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks' 20th consecutive home victory and 12th straight overall was the picture of precision.

Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and eight rebounds and Jason Terry added 21 points as the Mavericks extended their club-record home winning streak by easing to a 110-87 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

The Mavericks are the first team in NBA history with three winning streaks of 12 or more in a season, having already had runs of 12 and 13 games. The Milwaukee Bucks (1970-71), Philadelphia 76ers (1980-81) and Los Angeles Lakers (1999-2000) have had three winning streaks of 10 or more in a season.

Dallas shot 54 percent from the field, went 7-for-14 from 3-point range, and converted 18 Atlanta turnovers into 25 points.

"When the ball is moving side to side so well, it's fun basketball to play," Terry said. "That's what you see from this team consistently, night in and night out."

The only bad news for the Mavericks came in the fourth quarter when Josh Howard sprained his right ankle. He finished with 20 points.

Howard was helped off the court with 6:11 to play after he took a jumper and landed on the foot of Atlanta's Joe Johnson. X-rays were negative and Howard made the trip to Minnesota where the Mavericks meet the Timberwolves on Tuesday night. Howard, who's been playing on a sore right ankle sustained under similar circumstances in a game last week against the Miami Heat, is listed as day-to-day.

"Hopefully he should be OK," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said.

Reserve Jerry Stackhouse, playing extended minutes with starting guard Greg Buckner out with a bruised left knee, contributed 19 points and a season-high nine assists for the Mavericks.

"Dallas is good, they try to do things the right way," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "They have so many weapons, it's like, pick your poison out there."

Also out for the Mavericks was swingman Devean George, recovering from a sprained ligament in his right knee.

Dallas had only eight players with 10 minutes or more, and the Mavericks needed their reserves to grind out the victory.

"We shouldn't have anybody out there who's tired when you're winning and having the success we are," Stackhouse said. "When Chicago was on its great runs, they didn't know it was cold outside. That's how we feel right now. We can't wait 'til the next game."

Dallas has won 47 of 52 after losing its first four games, improving to a league-best 47-9 record. The Mavericks haven't been beaten at home since a 92-83 defeat to the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 7.

The Hawks were on the second leg of a tough back-to-back, having lost at home to the Phoenix Suns 115-106 on Sunday night.

Johnson's 29 points and Zaza Pachulia's season-high 24 points and nine assists paced the Hawks, who've lost four of their past five.

"We can't get over the hump in back-to-back games," Woodson said. "More than anything, we were mentally exhausted and did things we shouldn't be doing. We have to grow and learn to push through that."

Dallas trailed by five early but led after one quarter, 27-23.

Howard scored 12 points while the Mavericks were taking control with a 22-8 run that bridged the first and second quarters, pushing Dallas' lead to 58-42.

The Mavericks made their first six 3-pointers of the game, three from Stackhouse, and built a 60-45 halftime lead behind Nowitzki's 19 points.

Dallas opened the third quarter with a 15-7 spurt capped by Howard's dunk for a 75-52 lead.

The Mavericks were in front after three quarters 87-67, outscoring the Hawks in the paint 20-4 in the quarter.

Game notes
Former Maverick Anthony Johnson had two points in 25 minutes for the Hawks. The Mavericks traded Johnson to the Hawks last week for a second-round draft choice. Johnson said he was surprised at the deal and had not complained to Dallas management about his lack of minutes on a talented team. The deal offered some pluses for Johnson, however. He makes his offseason home in Atlanta and he is playing a lot more for the Hawks than he did for the Mavericks. ...Dallas has won 13 of the past 16 meetings with Atlanta.