Nowitzki, Mavericks knock Suns out of playoff race

Mavericks
Mavericks
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

DALLAS (AP) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points, including the go-ahead basket and a key 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, and the Dallas Mavericks eliminated the Phoenix Suns from playoff contention with a 107-104 victory Wednesday night.

Phoenix will miss the postseason for the fifth straight season because it can finish no better than a tie with New Orleans and Oklahoma City for the final spot in the Western Conference. The Pelicans have a better conference record.

The Mavericks were locked into the seventh seed with the Pelicans' loss at Memphis. But Dallas didn't play like it, withstanding a tight game that had 14 lead changes and 16 ties.

Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 23 rebounds, two off his season high, for Dallas.

Gerald Green had a season-high 30 points to lead the Suns, who battled the Mavericks for the final playoff spot in the West into the final week of the season last year before finishing a game behind Dallas.

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