Matthews drills late 3-pointer as Mavericks edge Bulls

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[January 18, 2017]  CHICAGO -- Deron Williams started to make his move down the lane, intent on weaving his way to the rim. But just as a defender stepped in, Williams saw teammate Wesley Matthews throw his hand up in the corner.

Once the pass arrived, Matthews did the rest. Not just with a clutch shot, but with an impressive defensive stop that made even bigger of an impact.

Matthews connected on a 3-pointer with 11.7 seconds remaining, Harrison Barnes scored 20 points and Seth Curry had 18 as the Dallas Mavericks made enough plays down the stretch of a 99-98 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

After his go-ahead basket, Matthews kept Bulls' star Jimmy Butler from getting off a shot and forced him to get the ball to Dwyane Wade, who missed a fadeaway jumper as time expired. The dramatic finish allowed Dallas (14-27) to escape with its third straight victory.

"It's just competing and coming out on top and leaving everything out there," Matthews said. "They want to win, you want to win, you're on the road. ... We got three in a row."

Dallas pulled out the win after Chicago (21-22) erased a second-half 13-point deficit and took a two-point lead in the closing seconds when Butler's jumper gave the Bulls a 98-96 advantage.

But instead of calling timeout, the Mavericks continued to play. Williams played off a double pick and roll and the top of the key, drove and then found Matthews for the game-winning shot.

"(Not calling timeout) creates unpredictability," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "(The Bulls) had their best defenders in there at the end. Deron made a lot of good plays tonight and so we decided to just play with no timeout."

Williams and Matthews made the most of it.

Once the Mavericks took the lead, the rest came down to defense. And after he watched Butler give the Bulls the previous time down the floor, Matthews was determined not to let him hit another shot.

"I wanted to get the ball to Jimmy," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said.

Said Matthews: "Obviously, everybody knew where the ball was going to go."

And after Matthews stopped Butler from getting the shot he wanted, Williams took over.

"I wasn't sure how much time was on the clock, but I just wanted to try and contain (Wade) as best as possible and make him take a tough shot," Williams said.

That left the game in the hands of Wade (17 points), who turned 35 on Thursday.

Wade collected the ball and took a step back and floated a shot toward the basket.

"The shot didn't go in," Wade said. "They made plays, we made plays. They made a little more down the stretch."

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Bulls forward Jimmy Butler (21) is defended by Dallas Mavericks center Salah Mejri (50) during the first half of the game against the Dallas Mavericks at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Butler led Chicago with 24 points and Robin Lopez scored a season-high 21.

The Mavericks built a 13-point lead in the third quarter behind Barnes and Curry, who paced Dallas' balanced scoring attack. J.J. Barea had 12 points for Dallas while Matthews and Williams both finished with 11 points.

Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, split a pair of free throws with 1:23 remaining to give Dallas a 96-94 lead. But Doug McDermott responded with 59.4 remaining with a short jumper that tied the game.

Butler, who has taken on the closer role for Chicago this season, overcame a slow shooting start and once again put the Bulls on top with his jumper from the corner. But Dallas, which swept the season series with the Bulls with Tuesday's victory, found a way to get a stop to continue its winning streak, which came on the heels of a three-game losing streak.

"The frustration was pretty high (after losing three straight)," Nowitzki said. "We recovered pretty good from that. I think we just need to be (healthier) and play better together and make big plays when they count."

NOTES: Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said before Tuesday's game that F Dirk Nowitzki's progress since returning from a knee injury has been steady, but hasn't "necessarily been fast." Nowitzki entered Tuesday's game averaging 16 points and six rebounds this month. ...C Andrew Bogut (hamstring) and C AJ Hammons were inactive for Dallas. ...Bulls F Taj Gibson missed Tuesday's game with left ankle soreness. Coach Fred Hoiberg said he hopes Gibson is ready to play on Friday against Atlanta. Paul Zipser started in Gibson's place. ...Bulls F Nikola Mirotic played Tuesday after missing four games with the flu, and he scored six points in 22 minutes. Hoiberg said because Mirotic hasn't practiced in five-on-five situations he wouldn't be able to play for long stretches and would have to come back gradually.

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