Published Monday, March 18, 2013
BY CHARLES ODUM
AP SPORTS WRITER
ATLANTA (AP) – Darren Collison scored 24 points and the hot-shooting Dallas Mavericks set season highs for points in a half and a game while beating the Atlanta Hawks 127-113 on Monday night.
Dallas led 68-55 at halftime and kept adding to the lead in the second half. Dirk Nowitzki, who had 22 points, hit two free throws as the Mavericks reached 100 with their first points of the final period.
Dallas made 57.3 percent of its shots (51 of 89). The Hawks also had a strong night on offense, shooting 56 percent from the field with eight scorers in double figures, but could come no closer than 11 points in the second half.
Collison made 10 of 14 shots from the field, going 2 of 3 from 3-point range.
Jeff Teague scored 19 points, Al Horford had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Josh Smith added 13 points for Atlanta.
The Hawks began the night fifth in the Eastern Conference.
O.J. Mayo scored 17 points and Chris Kaman had 14 for Dallas. Led by Collison, the Mavericks had three scorers in double figures off their bench. Vince Carter had 13 and Brandan Wright 12.
The Mavericks began the day 11th in the Western Conference, four games behind the eighth-place Lakers. The schedule could help Dallas gain ground in the playoff standings. The Mavericks play Brooklyn on Wednesday night in their first of six straight home games.
The Mavericks have made the postseason 12 years in a row.
"We feel like we've still got plenty to play for," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said before the game.
The Mavericks' 68 first-half points were also the most allowed by the Hawks this season.
Collison had 18 points in the half as the Mavericks made 29 of 46 shots (63 percent). The Hawks couldn't keep pace despite shooting 56 percent (19 of 35) from the field.
There was a delay after the third quarter when a Hawks cheerleader, identified by the team only by her first name of Kristen, slipped and hit the back of her head and neck during a dance routine. She did not lose consciousness, according to the Hawks, and was taken to the Atlanta Medical Center for treatment after leaving the court on a stretcher.
NOTES: The Mavericks' previous high for points in a half was 65 in the second half against the Knicks on Nov. 21. Dallas set its previous scoring high in a 126-99 win over Charlotte on Nov. 3. ... The Hawks' previous high for points allowed came in a 123-104 loss at Houston on Dec. 31. ... Kyle Korver, who had 11 points, extended his streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 60. ... Dallas plays its next six games at home. ... Hawks C Zaza Pachulia (sore right Achilles) missed his ninth straight game.
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