Jerry Stackhouse regained his scoring touch at the right time for the Dallas Mavericks, helping them stave off a comeback attempt by the Heat in Miami.
Stackhouse -- slowly working his way back after spraining his left ankle last month -- scored 16 of his 23 points in the final quarter as the Mavericks held on to beat Miami, 99-93, yesterday in the first matchup between the teams since last season's NBA Finals.
Josh Howard had 25 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 22 points and 11 rebounds for Dallas, which improved its NBA-best record to 34-8 and is 20-1 in its last 21 games. Plus, the Mavs got some tiny measure of revenge over the Heat, who lost the first two games of last year's finals before rallying to win the championship in six games.
"We just had to keep grinding," Stackhouse said. "It was a great game which had some great players making great plays."
Dwyane Wade -- who suffered a left ankle injury in the first quarter but returned and played 44 minutes -- finished with 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists for Miami, but he missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left.
Jason Williams had 17 points and Udonis Haslem, who missed his first eight shots, had 15 for the Heat.
The Heat were without Shaquille O'Neal (knee), who was inactive for the 34th straight game. Suns 131, Timberwolves 102 -- Shawn Marion scored 17 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, then sat out the fourth quarter as host Phoenix won its 13th in a row.
The Timberwolves were without their top two scorers, Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis, both on one-game suspensions. Garnett was suspended for throwing a punch at Detroit's Antonio McDyess Friday night. Davis was suspended for going to the locker room during the Detroit game.
Spurs 99, 76ers 85 -- Tim Duncan had 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Brent Barry scored 23 points as visiting San Antonio turned back a second-half rally by Philadelphia.
Robert Horry and Manu Ginobili each scored 12 points for the Spurs, who never trailed and coasted to their sixth win in eight games.
Trail Blazers 99, Bucks 95 -- Brandon Roy scored 28 points and host Portland held off a late surge by Milwuakee.