Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Vince Carter scored 23 points off the bench and led the Dallas Mavericks to a 115-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.
Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points and 11 rebounds while Jae Crowder and O.J. Mayo scored 14 points apiece for the Mavericks, who are on a four-game winning streak.
"I just felt in the groove," said Carter. "The basket just seemed extremely big and I felt comfortable in my shot. I was just in the flow of the game, and a couple of shots, once I let them go I happened to look down and see the 3- point line was up there. I was like, 'Oops,' because I know if I don't make them, coach is going to yell. But I had my feet set and in rhythm."
Monta Ellis scored 32 points and dished out nine assists for the Bucks, who came into the game having won six of their last seven games. Mike Dunleavy and J.J. Redick scored 18 and 17 points, respectively. Larry Sanders recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"Every time you lose a game now being in the position we are in, it has significance," said Bucks coach Jim Boylan. "We are trying to climb up and because we are trying to secure our spot, it definitely stings a little bit."
The Mavericks had a 90-79 lead entering the fourth quarter and extended it by as much as 14 points, 98-84, with 9:22 left in regulation.
A layup by Sanders started a 12-3 spurt for Milwaukee and capped with a 3- pointer by Dunleavy, as the Bucks cut the gap to 101-96 with 4:39 remaining.
However, that was as close as the Bucks would get.
Dallas increased its lead to 111-102 before Redick drilled a three-pointer with 1:17 to go. The Bucks could not come back, though, as they lacked scoring opportunities when they needed it most.
Dunleavy, who went 4-for-5 from behind the arc in the game, sank his last one with 27 seconds remaining to bring them within five, 113-108, but a pair of free throws by the Mavericks' Mike James put the game out of reach.
The Bucks were efficient in the first quarter, shooting 62.5 percent from the field and led 35-28 entering the second.
However, the Mavericks answered back in the second quarter. A 15-2 run midway in the frame gave Dallas a 51-45 advantage and the Mavericks never looked back.
At halftime, the Mavericks had a 63-55 advantage.
Dallas opened up the second half with an 12-2 run to take a 75-57 lead with eight minutes to play.
Ellis and Redick helped keep Milwaukee alive as they scored nine points in an 11-0 run midway in the frame to cut the lead to 77-70 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. Ellis scored 14 points in the quarter alone but the team shot just 25 percent from the floor.
Carter scored 13 points in the fourth quarter ... The Mavericks are now three games behind the Lakers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoff race ... Dallas and Milwaukee have split the season-series for the first time since the 2008-09 season ... Mavericks forward Shawn Marion missed his third consecutive game with a left calf contusion ... Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was out due to a turf toe injury.