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Mavericks nip Kings for league-high 50th victory

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Steve Nash saved the Dallas Mavericks from getting swept in the season series by one of their primary tormenters.

The All-Star point guard hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left in regulation, then scored 12 points in overtime as Dallas defeated the Sacramento Kings 129-123 Sunday.

Nash finished with 27 points and 10 assists as the Mavericks got their league-high 50th victory of the season — and one of the most important wins of their impressive campaign.

Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points and 18 rebounds, and Michael Finley scored 21 points as the Mavericks displayed all of the poise and execution many doubted they could produce against the veteran Kings.

The Mavericks were ahead all afternoon until midway through the fourth quarter, when Sacramento scored 12 straight points and brought the Arco Arena crowd to a frenzy.

Mike Bibby's jumper with 14 seconds left in regulation gave a three-point lead to the Kings. But after Nash missed his first 3-point attempt, Finley got the rebound and found Nash in the corner for the game-tying 3-pointer — a shot that showed Dallas had the toughness to survive in the NBA's loudest road arena.

In overtime, Nash made four straight field goals for Dallas — including two more 3-pointers — as the Mavericks ran away from the Kings, whose eight-game home winning streak was snapped.

Peja Stojakovic scored 30 points for the Kings, who were going after their first season sweep of Dallas since 1997-98.

76ERS 92, NETS 87: At East Rutherford, N.J., Allen Iverson hit a go-ahead layup with just over a minute remaining, and the Philadelphia 76ers moved within a half-game of first place in the Atlantic Division with a 92-87 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Sunday.

Iverson finished with 31 points and the 76ers held the Nets without a basket for the final 8:56 in winning for the 14th time in 16 games since the All-Star break.

GRIZZLIES 124, HAWKS 92: At Memphis, Tenn., Pau Gasol and Shane Battier scored 22 points each Sunday as the Memphis Grizzlies set franchise records with their sixth straight win and their 24th victory, 124-92 over the Atlanta Hawks.

Battier's 22 points were a season high, while Stromile Swift had his sixth straight double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

TIMBERWOLVES 111, TRAIL BLAZERS 95: At Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett had his fifth triple-double of the season and Wally Szczerbiak scored 20 points Sunday, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 111-95 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Garnett finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for the Timberwolves, who had lost their previous two games.