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David Moore recaps the Pisons game by writing about the way Dallas made improvements in several areas after halftime.

Avery Johnson was particularly pleased with they Jason Terry came to life in the final quarter.

Terry scored only 12 points against Detroit. But six came in the final 3:38 to help turn a tie score into a 92-88 Mavericks victory.

"In the fourth quarter, we really got what we wanted, make or miss," said Terry, who added that there was only one possession in the fourth quarter when the Mavericks didn't execute a play the way they wanted.

Mavericks coach Avery Johnson was glad to see it.

"The thing about Terry is, I'd love to have him early, in the middle and late," Johnson said. "He wasn't there early in the game. Flip [Murray] really dominated him.

"But he [Terry] played good defense on him [Murray] in the second half, and he hit a couple of big shots for us, along with a couple of big free throws."
And Art Garcia makes sure to point out Stakchouse in his game recap.
"I put a strain on my starters," Johnson said.

Jerry Stackhouse belongs in that mix. The sixth man's contributions went beyond his 12 points. His defense against Detroit forward Antonio McDyess was key when the Mavs went small.

"Special thanks goes to Stack for his defense," Howard said.
And in Detroit, it's their turn to dwell on missed free throws. And Rasheed Wallace, who question Dirk's defense before the game, was questioning his coaches' tactics after it.

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Eddie Sefko will be doing a chat at 11:30 AM CT.

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Avery Johnson says the Mavs don't think of themselves as the team to beat just because of their record.
"It's just baffling to me that everyone thinks we're the hunted," coach Avery Johnson said. "We're hunters. We're a hungry basketball team because we don't have what we've been looking for.

"Even though we may have a decent record, we still haven't been awarded anything yet. We're still on the journey and trying to [go] up the mountain. No matter what kind of perceived success -- or lack thereof -- we're still on the journey."
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Today is Avery Johnson's two year anniversary as head coach of the Mavs.
Johnson has presided over easily the most successful run in team history. The Mavs are 130-35 under Johnson, reaching the NBA Finals for the first time last season, and have the league's best record (54-11).

"They deserve it all," Johnson said of his players. "These men practice hard, they play hard, they put in extra time in the gym, coming back at night and working out, [and] they're very coachable.

"There are a lot of things I screwed up in that Phoenix game [a 129-127 double-OT loss Wednesday]. That's why we lost the game. It wasn't because Dirk [Nowitzki] or Josh Howard or turnovers or anything like that. The more I can stay out of the way and let them be successful, the better our chances are going to be."
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Around the NBA: Houston beat Philadelphia by 50. So even if the Sixers had added Kobe and his 50 point game, they still would have needed overtime.