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Dallas 107, Minnesota 103

Dec. 18, 2001 at 11:11 PM   |   Comments

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Michael Finley scored seven straight points to tie the game and Tim Hardaway drilled a pair of go-ahead jumpers as the Dallas Mavericks stormed back from a 22-point deficit Tuesday night for a 107-103 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Mavericks turned back the Wolves on Saturday in Dallas and swept the home-and-home series the hard way. They closed the gap to one game on second-place Minnesota (16-7) in the Midwest Division.

It was the largest lead wasted by the Timberwolves in franchise history.

Finley scored 26 points and led the late charge. He had a pair of free throws, a 3-pointer and a short jumper to pull Dallas into a 96-96 tie with 2:19 remaining.

Finley answered a basket by Joe Smith with a dunk over Wally Szczerbiak and Hardaway took over from there as he sank a 21-footer with 46 seconds left, giving the Mavs a 100-98 lead--their first since the opening quarter.

Szczerbiak made a layup, but Hardaway--as he has done so many times in his career--pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer over 7-footer Kevin Garnett for a 103-100 lead with 18 seconds to go.

Garnett had a chance to tie it, but his 3-pointer rattled out. Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash each made two free throws around three by Minnesota's Sam Mitchell for the final margin.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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