PHOENIX -- The Dallas Mavericks slowed things down and played a little rough in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Michael Finley was phenomenal from the field, and Dirk Nowitzki hit a 12-footer with 6.8 seconds left to give Dallas a rugged 108-106 victory over the Phoenix Suns last night to square the best-of-seven series, 1-1. Game 3 is tomorrow night in Dallas.
Quentin Richardson's 3-point attempt for Phoenix bounced off the back rim at the buzzer.
Finley scored 31 points, shooting 5 of 6 on 3-pointers and 12 of 18 overall, and Nowitzki added 23 points and 12 rebounds as the Mavericks bounced back from a 127-102 blowout loss in Game 1.
Erick Dampier, called out publicly by Nowitzki after being outscored by Amare Stoudemire, 40-0, in Game 1, had 15 points, 10 in the first quarter, and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Stoudemire had 30 points and 16 rebounds for the Suns, who lost Joe Johnson to a mild concussion from a hard foul from Jerry Stackhouse with 19.7 seconds left in the first half. Steve Nash had 23 points and 13 assists and Shawn Marion added 23 points and 15 rebounds.
Nowitzki sank two free throws to put Dallas ahead, 106-102, with 1:55 to play, then Stoudemire missed a dunk and a layup on consecutive possessions. But Marion blocked Nowitzki's shot, and Stoudemire dunked on a pick-and-roll feed from Nash to cut it to 106-104 with 50.9 seconds to play.
Jason Terry threw the ball away on the next possession, and Nash's 18-footer tied it at 106 with 27.4 seconds left. After a timeout, the Mavericks got the ball to Nowitzki, who worked his way inside and got the game-winning shot off over Richardson.
On the final sequence, Nash penetrated but was met by Nowitzki, then got the ball to Richardson. He dribbled away from a defender, then let go the 3-pointer that was just long and to the right.
With 19.7 seconds left in the first half, Johnson was fouled hard by Stackhouse on a drive to the basket and fell face-first to the court. He stayed on the floor while he got six stitches to close a cut near his left eye.
Referee Dick Bavetta belatedly called it a flagrant foul. Johnson, looking like a boxer who lost a fight, eventually got to his feet to the cheers of the crowd. He made one of two free throws before leaving the game for good.