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Terry hits for 46 in a losing cause

ATLANTA (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks love to run and gun. They
found the perfect opponent Tuesday night.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points and the Mavericks tied a
franchise record with 18 3-pointers, cruising to a 116-107 victory
over the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta got a career-best 46 points from Jason Terry, but it
wasn't enough to prevent the Hawks' fourth straight loss.

"It was a fun game," Nowitzki said. "That's how we like to
play, up and down. They played our brand of basketball. We're just
a little better at it. It was not really a defensive battle."

Dallas, the NBA's highest-scoring team, was predictably
efficient against the worst defense in the league. Time and again,
the Mavericks stifled any hope of an Atlanta comeback by hitting a
jumper from outside the arc, taking full advantage when the Hawks
went to a zone.

"It's a fun game when you're shooting and making it," said Tim
Hardaway, who scored all of his 18 points on six 3-pointers.

Nowitzki eclipsed his regular-season high of 38 points, though
he fell short of a 42-point effort in a playoff game at San Antonio
last season. Nowitzki was 6-of-15 from 3-point range.

Steve Nash added 29 points, making five 3s.

"We're not a very good club defensively, there's no question
about that," Hawks coach Jason Terry said. "Their matchups gave
us a lot of trouble."

In the fourth quarter, the Hawks closed to 104-98, only to have
Hardaway make a 3 at the other end. Terry's jumper pulled Atlanta
to 107-100, but Hardaway sank another 3-pointer to ensure the
Mavericks were never seriously threatened.

"It looked like we were going to make a run there for a
second," Terry said. "But they had Tim Hardaway. How could you
know he was going to come out and shoot the lights out in a
two-minute span?"

The Hawks led 57-55 at halftime, carried by Terry's 30-point
effort over the first two quarters. But Dallas took control by
outscoring Atlanta 39-26 in the third, equaling the most points the
Hawks have given up in a period this season.

"No matter what the stats read, a win is the only thing that
really matters," Terry said. "They pass the ball extremely well.
I'm not saying we don't. It's just you can tell the difference."

Dallas, coming off a 113-87 loss at Orlando the previous night,
shot 18-of-40 from 3-point range, equaling the team mark reached
two other times. It was the most 3s ever allowed by the Hawks.

"It's come to come out like this after last night," Hardaway
said. "You get blown out by 30 the night before, you better have
all the energy and your shots better be going in."

Leon Smith, the former first-round pick who signed a 10-day
contract with the Hawks, didn't play against his former team even
though Atlanta had only 10 players in uniform.

Smith didn't play a game for the Mavericks after being a
first-round draft pick in 1999. He attempted suicide and was
arrested twice before Dallas released him at mid-season. He was out
of the league the last two seasons.

Game notes
Hawks C Theo Ratliff didn't play because of persistent
soreness in his hip. He has played only one of three games since
coming off the injured list, where he spent 32 games. ... The Hawks
had five players in street clothes, equaling the number of healthy
players on the bench. ... Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, sitting at
courtside, laughed when the video board showed him next to a
superimposed picture of NBA commissioner David Stern during a
segment known as the "Kiss-Cam." Cuban has been fined repeatedly
for criticism of officials and other offenses, including a record
$500,000 levy. ... Terry's previous career high was 38 points, set
three other times.