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.