Mavs strong despite injuries



Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks keep losing players and winning games.

Nowitzki scored 27 points and the depleted Mavericks won their 11th straight game on Saturday night with a 122-116 victory over the hosting Chicago Bulls.

French rookie Rodrigue Beaubois notched his third consecutive career high with 24 points. Caron Butler also had 24 for Dallas, which was without super-sub Jason Terry and centre Brendan Haywood, but rang up its highest points total in nearly a month.

"We're loaded," said guard Jason Kidd, who had 15 assists. "We have guys who know how to put the ball in the basket and we all enjoy sharing the ball."

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle went to a small line-up, with Nowitzki playing centre and the lightning quick Beaubois at guard.

Beaubois erupted for 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting in the third quarter, helping expand a three-point lead to 94-80 entering the final period.

Chicago fought back, pulling within 98-94 on a three-pointer by Jannero Pargo with 7:58 to play. Nowitzki took over from there, scoring nine of the next 12 points for Dallas to rebuild the lead to 110-100 with 4:39 left.

Butler, who scored 11 points in the opening period when the Mavs took the lead for good, added nine in the last seven-and-a-half minutes to help close it out.

Shawn Marion scored 18 points and Mexico's Eduardo Najera added 11 for the Mavericks, who shot 56percent (49 of 87) and committed just seven turnovers.

All-Star Derrick Rose scored 34 points and Brad Miller added 17 for the Bulls.

Elsewhere: San Antonio Spurs 102, Memphis Grizzlies 92; New Jersey Nets 113, New York Knicks 93. - Sapa-DPA