Cleveland Cavaliers won the best-of-seven series 4-3 against Golden State Warriors to claim the first NBA crown in their 46-season history
Oakland: Powered by an amazing effort from LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers completed the greatest comeback in NBA Finalshistory on Sunday, dethroning defending champion Golden State Warriors93-89 to capture their first NBA title.
The Cavaliers won the best-of-seven series 4-3 to claim the first league crown in their 46-season history and deliver the first major sports champion to Cleveland since the 1964 NFL Browns, ending the longest such title drought for any American city.
James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, and Irving finished with 26 points for Cleveland, which erased a 3-1 series deficit to win the title.
Draymond Green had 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists for the Warriors, whose bid for back-to-back titles was thwarted. Golden State won an NBA-record 73 games in the regular season, then fell short in the playoffs. They went scoreless in the last three minutes of the final game.
“We were able to put together some spectacular games down 3-1,” a tearful James said moments after the victory. “This is special.
“I kept that positive attitude. I don’t know why we had to take the hard road. Against all odds.”
‘This is for you’
“Cleveland, this is for you,” James screamed on the court after the frantic final seconds.
“King” James had only the third statistical “triple double” in the seventh game of an NBA Finals, joining Jerry West in 1969 and James Worthy in 1988.
James, in his sixth consecutive finals and seventh overall, led the series with 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.7 assists plus more than two steals and two blocked shots a game — the greatest all-around numbers ever produced with a crown on the line.
Only two other clubs down 3-1 in the finals had ever forced a seventh game, none in 50 years until the Cavaliers epic comeback.
It was only the fourth time in 19 NBA Finals seventh games that the road team won, the first time since Washington captured the 1978 title in Seattle.
Golden State suffered the worst choke in NBA Finals history after having won an NBA record 73 regular-season games.
“It sucks,” said Draymond Green, who led the Warriors with 32 points. “It hurts to lose when you had a 3-1 lead.”
The winner-take-all showdown captured the attention of US President Barack Obama, who watched the end of the game on Air Force One after returning from a family trip, and commanded high-priced fans, courtside tickets with a face value of USD 8,500 being resold for as much as USD 49,500.
Fans saw a thriller after six lopsided prior outcomes in the historic series.
James made three free throws and added a 3-pointer to give the Cavaliers an 89-87 lead, but Klay Thompson’s layup lifted the Warriors level with 4:39 to play.
The teams each went six possessions without scoring after that, time and again thwarting their rivals until Irving’s 3-pointer.
After another Cavaliers’ stop, James was fouled by Green as he tried for a title-clinching slam dunk. Instead, he made a free throw to produce the final margin and the Warriors could not close the gap in the dying seconds.
The Warriors had not lost three games in a row since 2013.
NBA scoring leader Steph Curry had 17 points while fellow Warriors 3-point sharpshooter Thompson managed only 14.
The Warriors took their biggest lead at 54-46 but back-to-back 3-pointers by J.R. Smith and an Irving layup pulled the Cavaliers level early in the third quarter.
Curry scored the next five points but then went 0-for-4 with three turnovers over more than three minutes and Cleveland went on an 14-2 run, Irving scoring 10 in the spurt that gave the Cavaliers a 68-61 advantage.
Back came Golden State, Green hitting three free throws and a 32-pointer in a 15-7 run to seize a 76-75 edge entering the fourth quarter after 17 lead changes and nine ties.
Green scored 22 first-half points, hitting 8-of-10 shots from the floor and 5-of-5 from 3-point range after an 0-for-10 showing from beyond the arc in his prior three games.
Green had four 3-pointers and a 3-point play in the second quarter and scored nine points in a 12-5 run that gave Golden State a 47-40 lead.
He also had six rebounds and five assists in sparking Golden State to a 49-42 half-time edge as Warriors top scorers Thompson and Curry combined to shoot 5-of-17 overall and 3-of-12 in 3-pointers.
James led the Cavaliers in the first half with 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists but also made four turnovers.
OAKLAND, Calif, For most of this second-round series, there wasn’t much between the Warriors and Blazers, two close-knit, disciplined teams whose efficient, captivating offenses energetically traded runs, highlights and three-pointers for five games. But in the closing stages of the tighter contests, and in the final moments of a fantastic Game 5, Golden State was able to separate in spectacular, clinical fashion.
BOX SCORE: WARRIORS 125, TRAIL BLAZERS 121
The Warriors defeated the Blazers 125–121 on Wednesday to advance to the Western Conference finals for the second straight season, where they will await the winner of the Thunder and Spurs. For the second time in three days, MVP Stephen Curry stepped forward with the game on the line, scoring seven points in the final 25 seconds to finish off a Portland team that ran itself ragged in pursuit of an upset.
Fresh off a record-setting 17-point overtime in Game 4 on Monday and the presentation of his second MVP award on Tuesday, Curry lived up to the hype and hyperbole yet again, scoring 14 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
The biggest moment, easily, came with less than 30 seconds left and Golden State nursing a two-point lead. Golden State hadn’t scored in the previous two minutes, missing three straight shots and committing an ugly turnover, but Curry approached the possession as if oblivious to pressure and the thousands of standing fans surrounding him, unaware that Portland forward Al-Farouq Aminu was shadowing his every move.
“It’s what you practice for every day and go through the regular season to be in those kind of moments,” Curry said. “Just let your mind be free, have confidence and try to knock down the shot and make a play.”
His intricate sequence would make an excellent teaching tape for youth basketball coaches and dance choreographers alike. Curry dribbled methodically to his right near midcourt, sizing up his prey, slowly spinning back to his left to set up a left-to-right crossover. Gaining speed now, Curry then crossed again, this time right-to-left through his legs, bursting out of the combination in hopes of getting Aminu on his heels.
Sensing more was needed, Curry then went with a third crossover, left-to-right again, but this time behind his back, dangling the ball out slightly in front of him before pouncing on it and pulling back into a step back.
Aminu was still there, still close enough to put up an arm, but it didn’t matter. Curry had done enough to set his feet, done enough to get through his shooting motion cleanly, done enough to drain the 26-foot bomb, done enough to send the Blazers into the off-season.
“That last three he hit was well-defended,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “He makes big-time shots.”
This particular big-time shot, resulting from such a careful and rehearsed build-up, left both coaches marveling.
“He’s great for basketball,” Stotts gushed, even in defeat. “What he’s done from a skill standpoint accentuates that basketball is a game of skill. As an MVP, he got even better. He’s a great example for any young player—for anybody, [even] guys in the NBA.”
Moments after lamenting some of the mistakes preceding Curry’s three, Warriors coach Steve Kerr simply sounded relieved, both that the series was over and that Curry had returned to the court after ankle and knee injuries, ready, willing and able to play closer.
“We didn’t really execute that well down the stretch,” Kerr said. “It was mostly just Steph making a play. … Steph is Steph. I think our fans are used to it. I’m used to it. Our staff is. He makes these incredibly difficult shots, and he’s quite a weapon to have.”
Even Klay Thompson, who hit six threes of his own on his way to a game-high 33 points, understood that his job on the decisive play was the same as the rest of Oracle Arena, awash in matching yellow T-shirts: to spectate.
“I’m not going to go out there and try to take the ball from Steph when he’s in the zone like that,” Thompson said. “Going behind his back and a step-back from 25 feet. It’s a pleasure to watch. I don’t know if there’s any guy in the league that can do that.”
Curry’s finisher, followed by four straight free throws in the closing seconds, typified Golden State’s late-game dominance in this series, which all parties agreed was tougher than it looked on paper.
“That might be the closest five-game series of alltime,” Thompson declared, and yet Golden State exerted full control when it mattered.
Indeed, the Warriors’ crunch-time statistics in this series were staggering: They won all three games that were within five points in the last five minutes, they outscored Portland 51–29 in clutch situations, they posted a clutch offensive rating of 143 (while shooting 55%) and they posted a clutch defensive rating of 90 (while Portland shot just 33%).
Translation: It might have taken awhile for the Warriors to display their depth and experience advantages, but once they did there was no doubt as to who was advancing.
With the win, Golden State improved to 6–1 in closeout games during Kerr’s tenure, the only loss coming in Game 4 of the 2015 West finals while holding a commanding 3–0 series lead over Houston. Meanwhile, the Warriors also improved to 7–0 over the last two postseasons once a series advances to its fifth game, a record made even more impressive by the fact that no opponent has pushed Kerr’s Warriors to a Game 7.
Once these Warriors feel out the opposition, there’s been no looking back.
Portland left exhausted, with its pride intact and with clear admiration from the Warriors, including Draymond Green, who previously predicted a Game 4 win and then said the Blazers were “done” prior to Game 5.
“Just happy to be done with this series,” Green said. “Looking at this series and seeing 4–1, it didn’t feel like that. It was a very tough series. I gained a lot of respect for those guys because of the way they fought.”
But the Blazers also departed grappling with the same two-part predicament that haunted the Pelicans, Grizzlies, Rockets and Cavaliers last year.
In the most critical moments, late in games and late in series, can anyone play as intelligently and cohesively as the Warriors on both sides of the ball? And, if so, will that team also be fortunate enough to dodge Curry’s regularly scheduled acts of icy brilliance?
Lamar Odom was back in the public eye for the first time since his 2015 drug overdose made headlines.
New York: Former NBA star Lamar Odom was back in the public eye on Thursday for the first time since his 2015 drug overdose made headlines, attending Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3 fashion show at Madison Square Garden.
Odom, a two-time NBA champion who gained wider fame as the star of a reality television series with wife Khloe Kardashian, was hospitalized in October after he was discovered unconscious at the Love Ranch brothel outside Las Vegas after reportedly consuming a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.
He had since moved to a rehabilitation facility as he continued a recovery his family called “miraculous.”
On Thursday, Odom was cheered by the crowd as he walked to his seat with West, who was presenting his collection in conjunction with the worldwide release of his new album, “The Life of Pablo.”
West is married to Khloe’s sister Kim.
Khloe Kardashian, who filed for divorce from Odom in December 2013, was also in attendance. She called off the legal proceedings in the wake of Odom’s overdose.
Although the couple remain separated, she was at his bedside when he was in critical condition last year.
: With breathtaking skill and a ruthless will to win Kobe Bryant stamped his authority on the NBA, leaving a mark that will linger long after the Los Angeles Lakers guard plays the last game of his 20-year career on Wednesday.
Bryant, 37, will walk away with five NBA titles, having secured his place not only among such Lakers icons as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Jerry West but also in the pantheon of NBA greats still presided over by Michael Jordan.
“I studied him, wanted to be like him,” Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player, said when Bryant announced in November that this season would be his last.
“He was our Michael Jordan,” Durant said, “a guy who changed the game for me as a player mentally and physically .. someone I’m always going to look to for advice for anything. Just a brilliant, brilliant intelligent man.”
Such accolades have poured in since November, even fans in long hostile arenas showering Bryant with affection as a dismal Lakers season evolved into a Kobe farewell tour that concludes at Staples Center against the Utah Jazz.
Courtside seats for what promises to be a glittering event were going on ticket resale site StubHub for just under $20,000, with the cheapest seats going for more than $600.
Those who don’t get in can still attend a Lakers-sponsored fan-fest outside the arena.
“He deserves it after 20 years,” said Eric Pincus, who covers Bryant and the Lakers for the Los Angeles Times and Basketballinsiders.com. “Very few players play 20 years of basketball, a typical career might be five years, seven years.”
The celebrations are an ironic final twist in the career of a player whose uncompromising nature has made him a polarizing figure.
Bryant has produced some of the NBA’s most dazzling scoring performances — topped by his 81-point outburst against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 — and stands third on the league’s all-time scoring list behind only Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone and ahead of Jordan.
But critics have hammered him as an “inefficient” shooter, selfishly unwilling to share the ball with team-mates, a knock Bryant dismissed on Twitter last year with the succinct comment: “Count to 5”.
For Bryant, titles trump all, a philosophy that propelled him to global superstardom even as it turned team-mates into rivals and opponents into mortal enemies.
Bryant feuded famously with Shaquille O’Neal after teaming with him to lead the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002, the public hostilities lingering long after O’Neal departed and Bryant had gone on to win two more championships.
Phil Jackson, who guided the Lakers to those three titles and to two more in 2009 and 2010, labelled his sometimes surly star “uncoachable” in his autobiography.
“Kobe is not necessarily known as the nicest guy, he would tell you himself that he didn’t win by being nice, he won by being competitive and being vicious,” Pincus said. “That turned people off along the way, so he has a lot of enemies, a lot of fans who love him, and a lot of fans of other teams who hated him.
“But now as it all comes to an end, I think everyone respects him.”
Off the court, a 2003 accusation of rape by a 19-year-old Colorado woman clouded Bryant’s reputation and cost him several endorsement deals.
The case was dismissed when the alleged victim refused to testify, and Bryant’s stock rose again.
Forbes estimated this month that Bryant’s endorsement deals and commercial partnerships have swelled his career earnings to $465 million, and the figure is expected to top $680 million by the time he bows out for good.
That would make him the highest grossing team athlete in history, with only boxer Floyd Mayweather, golfer Tiger Woods and Formula One driver Michael Schumacher piling up bigger fortunes in sports.
Some pundits have questioned the Lakers’ loyalty to Bryant as the injuries piled up and his contribution dwindled, suggesting they should invest more in rebuilding rather than propping up an ageing figurehead.
Reports before the 2014-15 season that top free agents were wary of joining such a task-master team-mate in Los Angeles were dealt with roundly by part-owner and president Jeanie Buss, who said any one afraid of playing with Bryant was “probably a loser”.
But the fact remains that Bryant, who was limited by injury to just six games in 2013-14, has toiled the two seasons since on a Lakers team whose young talent has failed to gel around the veteran star.
Lakers coach Byron Scott described a dream scenario for Bryant’s final game, the “Black Mamba” draining a trademark fade away jumper to clinch victory in a close contest.
But for Bryant, the competitive fire that fueled his rise to stardom means there can be no Hollywood ending in a season in which the Lakers have again set a club record for defeats.
“Win a championship, and that ain’t happening,” Bryant said of his only dream scenario. “The dream’s done.”
In a complaint filed on Monday in Manhattan federal court, Solid Oak Sketches LLC said Take-Two should pay damages for incorporating eight tattoo designs, including that of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, into its NBA 2K16 game.
New York: Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit over its depiction of tattoos belonging to National Basketball Association stars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in a popular video game. (Click here for latest NBA stories)
In a complaint filed on Monday in Manhattan federal court, Solid Oak Sketches LLC said Take-Two should pay damages for incorporating eight tattoo designs, which the plaintiff had licensed from various artists, into its NBA 2K16 game.
While “the issue of tattoo copyrightability has yet to be decided upon in court due to numerous settlements,” the tattoo artists’ works are the kind of “pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works” that deserve legal protection, Solid Oak said.
Among the works in question are the words “Hold My Own” on James’ left bicep, a crown with butterflies on Bryant’s right bicep, and tattoos on the bodies of NBA players Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Kenyon Martin, according to court papers.
Take-Two has said it sold more than 4 million copies of NBA 2K16 in the first week after its release last Sept. 29.
A spokesman, Alan Lewis, said the New York-based company does not comment on legal matters.
The lawsuit seeks a halt to any infringements, plus damages as high as $150,000 per infringement.
It follows what Solid Oak said was an unsuccessful effort to negotiate a licensing arrangement with Take-Two.
In a July 28 letter filed with the court, lawyers for the tattoo artists had offered Take-Two a perpetual license for the eight tattoos in question, in exchange for a $1.14 million fee.
Darren Heitner, a lawyer for Solid Oak, declined to elaborate on the complaint.
The case is Solid Oak Sketches LLC v. Visual Concepts LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-00724.
Former NBA star Lamar Odom had collapsed at a brothel in Nevada in October last year due to a cocaine overdose. Khloe Kardashian has been caring for her estranged husband ever since.
Los Angeles: Former NBA star Lamar Odom is making progress in his recovery and is reportedly grateful to his estranged wife Khloe Kardashian for looking after him.
Khloe has been caring for her estranged husband ever since he collapsed at a brothel in Nevada in Octoberand Lamar, 36, recently moved into a rented home in the same gated community as Khloe, reported People magazine.
“He can move around alone, and he can communicate much better. In the beginning, he couldn’t talk at all. He knows how much Khloe has been there for him, and he is so grateful,” a source said.
“The therapy can be incredibly frustrating and he has hard moments, but Lamar is a former athlete. He’s strong. And he really wants to get better. Khloe visits him at his house and Lamar hangs out at hers.”
Neha Dhupia has always been a basketball enthusiast and all she wanted to do while in Chicago was to watch the Pacers versus Bulls NBA game.
Bollywood actress and model Neha Dhupia attended an NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Neha also had a fan-girl moment when she met with the Bulls’ shooting guard Jimmy Butler, who made the game-winning basket against the Pacers. (Read More in Other Sports)
Neha has always been a basketball enthusiast and all she wanted to do while in Chicago was to watch the Pacers versus Bulls NBA game. She even expressed her excitement when the host gave her a warm welcome on their social media channels.
As for the game, Butler tipped in a basket with 1.2 seconds left in overtime and the Bulls beat the Indiana Pacers 102-100 on Wednesday night despite playing without their former league MVP Derrick Rose.
Butler scored 28 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter and overtime combined, and Aaron Brooks had 29 points to help Chicago win its third in four games.
The Staples Center roared when the 37-year-old Kobe Bryant took the mic before Friday’s game and thanked his fans. Bryant, who has a record 395 points on Christmas Day, played 26 minutes in his NBA-record 16th Christmas Day game and scored 12 points for the Lakers.
Los Angeles: Chris Paul scored 23 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 94-84 victory over Los Angeles Lakers in basketball great Kobe Bryant’s final Christmas game here.
The Staples Center roared when the 37-year-old Bryant took the mic before Friday’s game and thanked his fans. Bryant, who has a record 395 points on Christmas Day, played 26 minutes in his NBA-record 16th Christmas Day game and scored 12 points for the Lakers, reports Xinhua.
“He (Kobe) has been good the last 10 games or so. I’m pretty sure he’s happy with how he’s playing. He’s playing at a different level right now than he was about a month ago,” Lakers head coach Byron Scott said.
The Clippers took an 85-57 lead into the fourth, and both coaches rested all their starters until the Lakers started to make a move.
“I thought we played okay. I thought we could’ve been so much better, even with the lead in the first half,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.
The Lakers opened the fourth quarter on a 25-4 run to pull within seven points of the Clippers. The crowd went wild, but the Clippers pulled away with a 3-pointer by Wesley Johnson and a 16-footer by Paul. The Lakers could not complete the comeback.
Rookie D’Angelo Russell had a team-high 16 points off the bench for the Lakers.
“We know that team is a playoff contender so we should just use that as confidence knowing that we can compete with teams like that. But at this level, every team is good no matter what people on the outside say,” Russel said.
J.J. Redick had 14 points and DeAndre Jordan had nine points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers. They have won 12 of their last 13 meetings with the Lakers.
Bryant announced on November 29 that he will retire after this season, his 20th in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His best December 25 game was in 2004, when he had 42 points in a 104-102 overtime loss to Miami here.
Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson and China’s Yao Ming could be among those inducted in 2016 to see off the expected changes to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Citing unnamed sources, NBA website report on Monday said the Basketball Hall of Fame changes will include reducing by one year the wait for eligibility for induction to the sporting shrine.
The wait time would be shortened from five seasons in retirement to four, officials wanting to avoid what has become a sixth year of waiting by the time the vote process is completed.
The new plan would see eligibility after five calendar years rather than five NBA seasons and that would open the door early for several candidates that could be first ballot selections, notably Yao, O’Neal, Iverson as well as Jason Kidd and Steve Nash.
Yao and Shaq would not have been on the ballot for another year under prior Hall rules.
Some carryover candidates might find themselves squeezed with new stars moving ahead in the Hall picture, notably Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson and Chris Webber.
Yao had rejected being nominated as a contributor to the sport, which would have come without the five-year retirement wait.
Finalists for the Class of 2016 are expected to be announced in February with selections in April and enshrinement in September at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In 1975, Darryl Dawkins was the first player drafted out of high school into the NBA — as the fifth overall selection by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Los Angeles: Darryl Dawkins, the former NBA star whose powerful dunks earned him the nickname “Chocolate Thunder,” died Thursday of a heart attack at the age of 58, his family said.
“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of our beloved husband and father, Darryl Dawkins, who succumbed today to a heart attack,” his family said in a statement issued through the NBA.
“Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart.”
In 1975, Dawkins was the first player drafted out of high school into the NBA — as the fifth overall selection by the Philadelphia 76ers.
He went on to play 15 seasons with four teams: the Sixers (1975-82), the New Jersey Nets (1982-87), the Utah Jazz (1988) and the Detroit Pistons (1988-89).
Dawkins shot 57.2 percent for his career, scoring 8,733 points and blocking 1,023 shots.
His dunks — which the player dubbed with names such as “Rim Wrecker” — were so powerful that he shattered two backboards in 1979.
After his NBA career, he spent two years playing in Italy before joining the Harlem Globetrotters.
Eventually he made the transition to coaching, guiding the American Basketball Association’s Newark Express and the Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs of the United States Basketball League.
He most recently had coached at Lehigh Carbon Community College.
“The NBA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Darryl Dawkins,” the league said in a statement.
“We will always remember Darryl for his incredible talent, his infectious enthusiasm and his boundless generosity.
“He played the game with passion, integrity and joy, never forgetting how great an influence he had on his legions of fans, young and old.”
Dawkins’s wife Janice and the rest of his family asked for privacy as they mourn him.
“More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father,” his family said in their statement.
“We ask that the public please respect our privacy as we grieve his loss.”
Basketball star LeBron James’s multimedia site called “Uninterrupted” was launched earlier this year, and is hosted by sports site Bleacher Report, a Turner Sports subsidiary.
New York: Warner Bros Entertainment and Turner Sports have invested USD 15.8 million in basketball great LeBron James’ multimedia site “Uninterrupted”. (LeBron James Joins Oscar Robertson on NBA Elite List, Leads Cleveland Cavaliers Past Orlando Magic)
Launched earlier this year, “Uninterrupted” is hosted by sports site Bleacher Report, a Turner Sports subsidiary. (LeBron James, Kevin Love Lead Cleveland Cavaliers Past Milwaukee Bucks)
Sports stars upload videos, usually a minute or two long and filmed by themselves, to disclose something about their lives or other subjects that interest them.
In addition to NBA great James, Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Ronda Rousey are frequent posters.
The investment from the Time Warner divisions will help the platform develop exclusive content, boost the brand’s profile and expand “Uninterrupted” into new tech platforms such as a mobile app, a statement said.
“The best thing about ‘Uninterrupted’ is there are so many creative opportunities for athletes to tell their stories,” James said in the press release.
“I’m excited to be partnering with important, innovative companies like Warner Brothers and Turner to keep building ‘Uninterrupted’ as a place for athletes to go to connect with fans and share their stories in a different way.”
W YORK: Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points as the Dallas Mavericks put rookie Kristaps Porzingis and the New York Knicks in their place with a 104-97 victory at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
Latvian rookie Porzingis — who idolized German star Nowitzki as a schoolboy — top scored with 28 points in a furious late onslaught for New York but it was not enough to overhaul Dallas.
The towering 7ft 3in Porzingis, one of the standout rookies of the season so far, helped slash a 98-81 deficit with 5:52 left in the fourth quarter to just 101-97 with 43 seconds on the clock.
But just as memorable comeback was on the cards, the Mavericks reasserted themselves through Nowitzki and Deron Williams to hold on for the win.
Nowitzki had six rebounds along with his 25-point haul while Williams finished with 20 points and seven assists.
Porzingis sank 13 of 19 shots from the floor and also contributed two blocks.
Team-mate Carmelo Anthony added 17 points with eight assists and six rebounds.
In Charlotte, the Hornets romped past the Detroit Pistons 104-84 in a surprisingly lopsided victory.
Center Cody Zeller ran the show for the Hornets, missing starter Al Jefferson who is nursing a calf injury.
Zeller chipped in with 20 points and six rebounds in a commanding display as the Hornets shrugged off the absence of Jefferson.
“I think this whole team has to step up, and it’s got to be a group effort,” Zeller said.
“We had a lot of different guys play well tonight, and that’s what we need until Al gets back.”
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