Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points as the Dallas Mavericks rallied from a 13-point fourth quarter deficit for a crucial 105-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns tonight. Josh Howard added 24 and Brandon Bass 19 for the Mavericks. Phoenix went scoreless for just under eight minutes, missing 12 shots in the process. The Suns made just three of 19 shots in the final period.
Amare Stoudemire had 31 points for the Suns. The victory lifted Dallas a game ahead of eighth-place Denver in the Western Conference with five to play. The Suns, who would have clinched a playoff berth with a victory, fell 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Lakers in the Pacific Division. Phoenix dropped to sixth in the West, a half-game behind Houston.