DALLAS – Dirk Nowitzki hit a three-pointer with 2.9 seconds left and the Mavericks rallied to beat the Chicago Bulls 100-98 on Saturday.
This game was kind of like the story of our season, said Nowitzki, who finished with 35 points. Every time someone writes us off, we find a way to come back.
The Mavericks trailed by 12 in the fourth quarter, but Nowitzki scored Dallas last eight points in a 15-1 run over the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game.
After Jimmy Butler missed two free throws with 15.9 seconds remaining, Vince Carter drove down the lane and kicked a pass out to Nowitzki, who stepped into a three-pointer with Luol Deng running at him.
Chicagos Nate Robinson missed a jumper at the buzzer that would have tied it.
Dallas (36-37) crept within a game of the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah for the final playoff spot in the West. The Jazz hosted Brooklyn on Saturday night and the Lakers were at Sacramento.
HAWKS 97, MAGIC 88: In Atlanta, Ivan Johnson scored a season-high 21 points off the bench, and Devin Harris had 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as Atlanta beat Orlando for the 10th straight time.
The Hawks are now fifth in the Eastern Conference playoff race, a half-game ahead of Chicago.