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Historic night for Nowitzki as Mavericks rally to defeat Kings

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DALLAS — No one born outside of the United States has scored more NBA points than Dirk Nowitzki.

The 36-year-old power forward and future Hall of Famer racked up 23 points, as the Dallas Mavericks rallied to upend the Sacramento Kings 106-98 Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

Dallas (5-3) came back from 24 points down, tying the third-largest deficit overcome in franchise history. The Mavericks also own a 21-game winning streak in Dallas dating back to 2003.

The evening proved also historic for Nowitzki, who passed Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list and first among foreign-born players.

“It was special to do it in front of the home crowd,” said Nowitzki, who received a standing ovation after reaching the milestone early in the fourth quarter. “They need exactly how many points I needed. … To pass ‘The Dream’ is unbelievable.”

The Kings (5-3) have lost two in a row following a five-game winning streak. Sacramento’s four-game road trip ends Thursday at Memphis.

“Teams are going to make runs and we weren’t going to beat them by 24 the whole night,” Kings coach Michael Malone said. “We knew they would make a run, but we didn’t handle the adversity very well tonight and we never got defense back into the game.”

Dallas outscored Sacramento 58-41 in the second half, and had six players score in double figures. Small forward Chandler Parsons bounced back from two poor-shooting outings to knock down five 3-pointers and score 19.

Shooting guard Monta Ellis had 16 points, all coming in the second half. Center Tyson Chandler had this third consecutive double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Kings were without starting point guard Darren Collison, who was out with a sore shoulder. Veteran backup Ramon Sessions started in his place and scored a season-high 18.

Kings small forward Rudy Guy had a team-high 26 points and eight assists. Shooting guard Ben McLemore added 17 points and made four 3-pointers. Center DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points and 11 boards, but was largely a non-factor after getting in early foul trouble.

“Quarters two, three and four, they outscore us 92-66,” Malone said. “Great first quarter, but this is a 48-minute game. We played one quarter tonight and we defended for one quarter tonight.

“That’s two games in a row where we haven’t defended well at all, after defended really well to start the year off. To allow them to shoot close to 48 percent is unacceptable. To have that many turnovers, 17 turnovers in the second half, is unacceptable.”

The momentum the Mavericks finished the first half with carried over into the second, as Dallas doubled up on the Kings 30-15 in the third quarter. The Mavericks took their first lead of the game (69-67) on Ellis’ driving scoop midway through the third quarter.

Ellis scored 10 points in the period, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 78-72 edge going into the fourth. Dallas had an 11-0 advantage in fastbreak points in the third.

“In the second half, the difference in the game was our point guards putting pressure on the ball and making it harder for them to get into their stuff,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “Those guys exerted a lot of energy.”

Sacramento dominated much of the first half, but only had a 57-48 lead at the break after leading by as much as 24 (44-20). The Mavericks used a 17-2 run late in the second quarter to narrow the gap going into the locker room.

Gay had 17 points at the half, with eight coming at the foul line. McLemore added 12. Nowitzki had 11 points and guard Devin Harris had eight points off the bench.

The Kings raced out of the gates, going up 8-0 behind Cousins as the Mavericks needed four minutes to get on the board. Dallas had just one basket through the first six minutes and kept falling deeper into a hole.

McLemore began to heat up from deep, drilling three 3-pointers to push the lead to 24-4. The lead reached 22 before the Kings settled for a 32-14 edge at the end of the quarter.

“They really took it to us early,” Nowitzki said. “We couldn’t score and I think we were at zero points the first six minutes.”

The Mavericks had more turnovers (five) than made shots (four) in the opening period.

NOTES: The largest deficit the Mavericks overcame in team history was 29 vs. Minnesota on Dec. 30, 2008. … Kings starting PG Darren Collison (shoulder) was out of the lineup for the first time this season. Dallas PG Raymond Felton (ankle) has yet to play this season. Dallas PG Jameer Nelson left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. … Sacramento is the only team not to allow an opposing player to score at least 25 points in a game this season. … Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki passed Hakeem Olajuwon for ninth on the NBA career scoring list with on a jumper in the fourth quarter. Nowitzki has 26,953 points.

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