Anyone who doubts whether the Dallas Mavericks are the NBA's best team might think differently after seeing how they won their 13th straight.
Trailing by 16 late in the third quarter, their zone defense failing and their offensive touch missing, the Mavericks put everything together in a thrilling fourth quarter to pull out a 115-105 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Saturday night.
Led by their usual starring trio of Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Steve Nash, Dallas used an 18-1 run to catapult into the lead. Seattle went back ahead once, but the Mavericks answered on their next possession to continue the best roll in franchise history.
"To find a way to win games like this is a sign of a champion," said Finley, who had 29 points and 11 rebounds. "We found a way tonight."
Dallas' hot streak is the fourth-best in league history. The only three teams that have done better all made it to the NBA Finals.
The Mavericks will try matching the 14-0 start by Boston in 1957-58 when it plays at Detroit on Wednesday.
They could be going for the record of 15-0 -- which was set by Washington in 1948-49 and tied by Houston in 1993-94 -- on Thursday at Indiana.
"People who say it doesn't mean anything are all wrong," Seattle's Brent Barry said. "This gives you the kind of confidence that can carry you through the rest of the season."
Grizzlies finally win one
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis' first sellout crowd of the season got to see Michael Jordan play and the Grizzlies win.
Earl Watson came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points as the Grizzlies beat Jordan and the Washington Wizards, 85-74.
"It was just a matter of time for us to collectively come to a point where we made it happen," Watson said.
The Grizzlies gave Hubie Brown a victory in his sixth game as coach and ended the worst season-opening losing streak in franchise history. Memphis avoided the NBA record of 17 straight losses at the beginning of a season held by Miami (1988) and the Los Angeles Clippers (1999).
It was Brown's first NBA victory since 1986 when he went 4-12 coaching the New York Knicks.
"We all know we didn't win the World Series, but what happens now is it takes a little pressure off the kids in the community. That's what I'm happy about," Brown said.
Watson, a second-year guard out of UCLA, handed out five assists with no turnovers.
Michael Jordan led Washington with 20 points.
Around the rim
Richard Hamilton had 22 points and five teammates scored in double figures as the Pistons snapped the Pacers' winning streak at nine games, 106-91. . . . Baron Davis scored 13 of his 17 points after sitting out the third period with back spasms, leading the Hornets to a 97-84 victory over Cleveland as the Cavaliers lost their 10th in a row. . . . Shammond Williams stepped into the starting lineup and had 19 points and six of Boston's 17 steals as the Celtics won their third straight game, defeating the Hawks, 109-99. Paul Pierce scored 31 points for Boston. . . . Kerry Kittles scored 17 of his 19 points in the first half to spark the Nets to a 96-82 win over the Timberwolves. . . . Matt Harpring and Karl Malone each had 20 points as the Jazz extended its winning streak to four games with a 110-90 triumph ovcer the Bulls. . . . Ryan Bowen's layup as time expired gave Denver its second buzzer-beating victory in as many nights as the Nuggets nipped the Suns, 80-79. . . . Hedo Turkoglu made a pair of free throws with 14.4 seconds remaining to lift the Kings to a 95-94 win over the Trail Blazers. Chris Webber led Sacramento with 24 points and 10 rebounds.