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ATLANTA Of all the plays that helped the Mavericks on Friday night, a run-in with Atlanta coach Mike Woodsonmay have been the biggest.

A literal run-in.

When Jason Kidd angled his direction ever so slightly with 1:37 to go in regulation, he rammed into Woodson. He basically stole one point because Woodson was on the court and the refs had no choice but to assess him a technical foul.

Dirk Nowitzkihit the free throw to draw the Mavericks within one point. When the game went into overtime, that extra point obviously was bigger than any other.

And when Kidd went to the bench at the timeout, he pointed to his right temple as he passed jeering fans and mouthed the word: Smart.

Smart plays. Great plays. Huge, timely plays. Kidd made them all, and the Mavericks needed every one of them to beat the Hawks and keep their winning streak alive at six.

It's the kind of play that will certainly get a second look by the NBA office. But it's hard to see any action coming against Kidd. All he did was use the rules to his advantage.

Woodson balked at it. And he tried to confront Kidd after the play. But Kidd said exactly what needed to be said afterward.

Ask Joe Johnson or any of their players, if they had a chance to do the same thing, they would, he said. If they thought of it.

That's a huge if.

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