Instead of seriously trying to acquire Shaquille O’Neal over the summer, the Dallas Mavericks decided to build around Dirk Nowitzki.
The logic couldn’t be faulted Thursday night. Nowitzki had 41 points, two off his career high, to help Dallas beat Miami, 113-93, ending the Heat’s unbeaten start and its franchise-record 14-game home win streak.
O’Neal had 22 points, becoming the 20th player to surpass 22,000 points with 22,002 for his career. Dwyane Wade added 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists before spraining his left ankle with 7:07 remaining. X-rays were negative and Wade believed the injury was minor.
Minnesota 96, Houston 91 -- Kevin Garnett made a jumper with 8.3 seconds left and finished with 20 points, 17 rebounds and nine assists in leading the Timberwolves at Houston.
Yao Ming had 25 points for the Rockets, who played without Tracy McGrady because of nagging hip and groin strains.
Denver 117, Detroit 109 -- Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and Earl Boykins added a career-high 32 in the Nuggets’ victory at Denver. The Pistons were without Ben Wallace, who left the team because of the death of his brother.