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DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks cant seem to turn comfortable leads into easy wins, even with their playoff fate on the line against teams going nowhere. Brandon Mebane Jersey . They avoided what would have been a damaging letdown against Sacramento on Saturday night. Nowitzki scored 19 points, including eight in the fourth quarter when the Mavericks wiped out a five-point deficit after leading by 17 in the first half and held on to beat the Kings 103-100. "Its unfortunate its been part of our DNA, and I just feel like were going to snap out of it," said coach Rick Carlisle, whose team has lost six games after leading by at least 16 points this season. "And I know we have to. So Im a very positive thinker on this." The Mavericks beat Sacramento at home for the 20th straight time in the regular season, the longest against any opponent in franchise history. Dallas (44-30) is in a virtual tie with Memphis (43-29) for eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Phoenix. The Mavericks have eight games left and finish the regular season at the Grizzlies. Rudy Gay scored 30 for the Kings. Monta Ellis had 17 points and six assists and Sam Dalembert added 15 as Dallas avoided a second loss to a West also-ran on a franchise-record eight-game homestand that ends Tuesday night against Golden State, the fourth likely playoff-bound opponent in five games. "Weve got to push it," Dalembert said. "We have to go out every night and fight, try to get anything we can get and see if we can get that second chance." The Kings were up 89-84 after a jumper from Jason Thompson when Jose Calderon started a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer and Nowitzki hit a pair of free throws for a tie. Shawn Marion made two more free throws to put Dallas back in front, then knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner for a 94-89 lead. Marion finished with 14 points. Sacramento had a chance to tie in the final seconds after Ellis missed two free throws, but Travis Outlaws 3-pointer was short just before the buzzer. "We played a lot harder, a lot more physical, in the second half," Sacramento coach Michael Malone said. "But we dont want to be having to get down by 17 to do it." Gay, who had 35 points in another close loss at the Mavericks in January, led Sacramentos push for its first regular-season win in Dallas since Feb. 27, 2003. The Kings won a playoff game in Dallas in 2004 when they eliminated the Mavericks in five games in the first round. Gay tipped in his own miss for the Kings first lead at 81-80 with 7:26 remaining in the game and muscled in a bucket after Ray McCallum missed a layup. Gay also had seven rebounds. With Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas missing his third straight game with a right thigh contusion, McCallum became the first NBA player this season to go the full 48 minutes. He has played six straight quarters over two nights after going the entire second half of a loss at Oklahoma City. McCallum, who had 16 points and eight assists, was briefly the only guard available when fellow rookie Ben McLemore left with what he said was a mild knee injury in the third quarter before returning in the fourth. "I felt fine the whole entire game," said McCallum, who has averaged 45 minutes per game in his three career starts with Thomas sidelined. "I knew with Isaiah being out, I would play more. I took a challenge to keep the team in the game and run the offence." McLemore had ice on both knees and his left shoulder after the game, but said he was fine. Nowitzki led the Mavericks with seven rebounds and tied Calderon for the team lead with seven assists. Reggie Evans had a season-high 18 rebounds for Sacramento, and DeMarcus Cousins finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists despite sitting most of the third quarter with four fouls. NOTES: Kings coach Michael Malone said Thomas might play Monday at New Orleans. ... Kings F Jason Thompson got a technical for complaining about a foul called against him on a three-point play by Marion. It contributed to a seven-point spurt in just 26 seconds that gave Dallas a 50-33 lead late in the first half. ... Ellis has been willing to take charges all season, never better illustrated that early in the third quarter when the 6-foot-11, 270-pound Cousins dribbled the length of the floor before plowing through the 6-3, 185-pound Ellis under the basket. 12th Fan Elite Jersey . Sotnikova trailed the 2010 Olympic champion by just .28 points after the short program on Wednesday, but had a brilliant free skate on Thursday. She earned a top score of 149. Cassius Marsh Seahawks Jersey . The 25-year-old Japanese star has officially been posted by his club team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles.MILWAUKEE -- NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is interested in returning in some capacity to the Milwaukee Bucks. "If I get a call, I will definitely offer my services," said Abdul-Jabbar, the franchises career leading scorer with 14,211 points. "Theres nothing on the table right now. A couple of people have asked me and if I had the chance to be part of this franchise again, I would take it." In December, former Sen. Herb Kohl announced he would seek minority investors in the team, which he has owned since 1985. The franchise is at something of a crossroads, struggling to draw large crowds to an aging building. The Bucks beat Utah 114-88 on Monday, but have the leagues worst record at 12-47. Still, Abdul-Jabbar sees Milwaukee as a viable NBA market. "They have to get their business model right," Abdul-Jabbar said Monday. "I hope that the Bucks are able to sort it all out and get on a good footing. You cant win it all unless you get the right players and you cant get the right players unless youre really in a good position as a business." Abdul-Jabbar was in town in part to promote a new tourism ad for the state of Wisconsin that played off his acting role in the movie "Airplane." Over the last few years, Abdul-Jabbar has expressed an interest in returning to the NBA as a coach. Hes worked as a special assistant with teams such as the Clippers aand Lakers. Bryan Walters Blue Jersey. . Abdul-Jabbar -- then Lew Alcindor -- was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1969 NBA draft and immediately turned the Bucks, coming off their expansion season, into contenders. Milwaukee went 56-26 and finished second in the Eastern Division behind Abdul-Jabbars 28.8 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. Not long after the season ended, the Bucks obtained Oscar Robertson from the Cincinnati Royals, leading to a dominant 1970-71 season. They finished with a 66-16 record and swept Baltimore in the NBA Finals, becoming the fastest expansion franchise to win a championship in the history of major professional sports. The Bucks returned to the Finals in 1974, losing to Boston in seven games. Robertson would retire just before the 74-75 season and Abdul-Jabbar quietly requested a trade, looking for a bigger market and the chance to join another contender. "They appreciated that and they appreciated that I kept my mouth shut about it," he said. "I gave them the opportunity to approach other teams and they figured out the best deal they could make for themselves." Abdul-Jabbar got his wish in June 1975, when he was shipped to the Lakers in a deal that included Junior Bridgeman going to Milwaukee. Both players have had their jerseys retired by the franchise. Bridgeman, who was honoured by the team last week, also has been mentioned as a possible investor. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys ' ' '
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