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Fourth-quarter surge lifts Mavs past Pacers
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Monta Ellis netted 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Indiana Pacers, 81-73, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Ellis added nine rebounds and six assists, while Dirk Nowitzki registered 18 points and six boards for the Mavericks, who have won six of their last seven games.
"Both teams were battling and everything was contested. It was as physical a game as I've been a part of in a long time, but I like how we competed. We didn't back down and kept competing on the defensive end," Nowitzki said.
Lance Stephenson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, George Hill scored 14 points and Paul George tallied 12 points and seven boards for Indiana, which has dropped two of its last three on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
"We got to be tougher, we got to use the break to get our rest and come back fresh," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
The Pacers' 73 points scored was a season low.
George's step-back jumper tied the game at 66-66 midway through the fourth quarter before Dallas ripped off eight straight points to seize control.
Brandan Wright hit a jumper, Ellis sunk a pair of free throws, Wright drove in for a layup and Nowitzki made two free throws to make it 74-66 in favor of Dallas with 3:47 to play.
George knocked down a left corner triple to pull Indiana within 76-73 with 37.3 seconds to play, but Ellis nailed four free throws and George misfired from beyond the arc to seal the outcome.
Earlier, the game was tied at 19-19 after a quarter of play and Dallas led 44-42 at the break.
Indiana held a 62-60 edge heading into the final frame, where it didn't record its first field goal of the stanza until Stephenson knocked down a step- back jumper at the 6:36 mark.
Ellis was 9-of-10 from the foul line ... The Mavericks scored 20 points off 20 Indiana turnovers ... Indiana shot 32.1 percent (27-of-84) from the field, while Dallas shot 35.7 percent (30-of-84) from the floor.
02/13 00:41:14 ET