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Nowitzki hurt, but Mavs win

The Dallas Mavericks were already without their coach after knee surgery, then lost Dirk Nowitzki to his own knee injury.

The Dallas Mavericks were already without their coach after knee surgery, then lost Dirk Nowitzki to his own knee injury.

And the Mavericks just kept rolling on the road.

Caron Butler scored 21 points and the visiting Mavericks shook off the loss of Nowitzki in the second quarter to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 103-93, last night for their 17th victory in 18 games.

Nowitzki scored 13 points before leaving with 9:10 left in the second with what the Mavericks said was a sore right knee. Shawn Marion scored 20 points off the bench to help replace him.

"You hate to see the big German go down," guard Jason Terry said. "But we saw him at halftime and he was smiling. He told us, 'No problem. You guys got this.' "

Dallas improved to 11-1 on the road this season, best in the NBA, and 24-5 overall.

"Just a great team win," said Mavs assistant Dwane Casey, running the team while Rick Carlisle recovers from his surgery. "Huge team win. The guys pulled together. We had to get into a rhythm offensively. It took us a while to find it. This should be a huge confidence boost for our guys."

Casey said he didn't believe Nowitzki's injury was serious.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points, one game after a season-high 44 points on Christmas against Denver. James Harden had 18 for the Thunder, who dropped their second in a row to the Mavericks this season.

Terry was 5-for-8 from the floor in the fourth quarter and scored 11 of his 13 points in the final period. The Mavs held Durant to just five points in the final period.

In other games:

* At Sacramento, Eric Gordon tied a career high with six three-pointers and scored 31 points, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 100-99 victory over the Kings. Blake Griffin had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who have won three straight on the road after opening the season 0-11. Tyreke Evans scored a season-high 32 points for the Kings, who have dropped eight straight.

* At Newark, N.J., Dwight Howard had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and the Orlando Magic won their third straight with a 104-88 victory over the Nets.

* At Milwaukee, Al Horford had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Joe Johnson added 15 points and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Bucks, 95-80, to snap a five-game road losing streak.

* At Memphis, Zach Randolph scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and the Grizzlies woke up from a slow start to beat the Toronto Raptors, 96-85.

* At Salt Lake City, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points, former Utah guard Wesley Matthews had 14, and the Portland Trail Blazers halted a four-game road losing streak with a 96-91 victory over the Jazz. Deron Williams had 31 points, including back-to-back three-pointers that pulled the Jazz within 94-91 with 7.7 seconds left. But Andre Miller made two free throws to seal Portland's win.

* At Minneapolis, Michael Beasley had 30 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 113-98 over the stumbling New Orleans Hornets.

* At Houston, Kevin Martin scored 20 points, Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks each added 15 and the Rockets won their fifth straight game, beating the Washington Wizards, 100-93.

* At Charlotte, D.J. Augustin scored 27 points, Stephen Jackson added 23 and the new-look, uptempo Bobcats held on to beat the Detroit Pistons, 105-100, to give interim coach Paul Silas a victory in his debut.


* Shaquille O'Neal was fined $35,000 for his public comments about the officiating after the Celtics' loss at Orlando on Christmas.