Fourth Quarter is Dirk Time Against Denver
Hawks, Nets choke hard against Trail Blazers, Timberwolves
By Jesse Andrews,  Newser User
Posted Jan 27, 2008 10:21 PM CST
Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, right, defends against Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, left, of Germany, in the second half of a NBA basketball game in Dallas, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008. The...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Dallas's Josh Howard was hot early (12 points in the first quarter), but it was reigning league MVP Dirk Nowitzki who put Denver away late, 90-85. The sharp-shooting Bavarian scored 14 of the Mavericks' final 16 points, including four clutch free throws in the final minute; his 32 points led all scorers. Also in pro hoops:

  • Al "Big Al" Jefferson of Minnesota continued to key his team's resurgence, scoring 40 overall and helping erase a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat swooning New Jersey, 98-95.
  • In another East-West choke job, Atlanta squandered a 19-point lead to Brandon Roy and Portland, tumbling 94-93.