NBA: Dallas 99, LA Clippers 77

Jan. 20, 2005 at 11:24 PM

DALLAS, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points Thursday night and Dallas used a dominant second half to run away from the Los Angeles Clippers, 99-77.

The Mavericks trailed by six at halftime and outscored the Clippers over the final two quarters, 57-29.

Dallas won its third straight and played its first game without Coach Don Nelson, who underwent rotator cuff surgery Thursday. He is expected to return to the bench in two to three weeks.

Avery Johnson, selected by Nelson to be his eventual successor, is serving as interim coach.

Elton Brand led the Clippers with 24 points.

Dallas enjoyed a 24-5 run that bridged the third and fourth periods and Los Angeles went almost eight minutes of the final quarter without a field goal.

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