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(Friday, March 21st)
Final Score: Dallas 122, Denver 106
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Monta Ellis scored 14 of his 26 points in the final quarter and dished out seven assists, and Dallas used a late burst to pull away for a 122-106 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Ellis went 6-for-6 from the field in the fourth quarter, as Dallas, which shot 14-of-19 in the period, beat Denver for the first time in four meetings this season.
"He's always going to be aggressive and he's always going to be in an attacking mode," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said of Ellis. "The thing we have to do as a team, and me as a coach, we just have to get him in the best possible situations."
Dirk Nowitzki tallied 21 points for the Mavericks, who are in a fight with Memphis and Phoenix for the final two playoff spots in the West. Dallas is seventh in the conference, a game in front of the Grizzlies.
Shawn Marion scored 14, while Vince Carter and Brandan Wright each added 13 for the winners. Jae Crowder scored 12 for the Mavs, who have won four of their last five games.
Ty Lawson had 17 points and nine assists, but also committed seven of Denver's 16 turnovers. J.J. Hickson scored 18 to pace the Nuggets, who had won four of their previous five contests.
A 3-pointer and dunk, both from Darrell Arthur, pulled the visitors within 99-96 with 6:29 remaining. After Lawson's 1-of-2 showing at the foul line had Denver within 101-97, the Mavs embarked on a 21-6 run. Marion highlighted the burst by barely beating the shot clock for a dunk and a double-digit cushion. Marion's running bank shot moved the margin to 121-103 with 1:17 remaining.
"I thought we had a lot of shots that we missed," Arthur admitted. "I have to give credit to their defense. They stepped their defense up today and made us play."
Denver led 29-26 after 12 minutes, but Crowder scored 12 in the second to boost the Mavs to a 61-53 lead at halftime. The hosts were ahead 90-78 going to the fourth.
Samuel Dalembert had 10 rebounds for the Mavs, who shot 53.9 percent from the field, including 12-of-22 from 3-point range ... Randy Foye had 15 points for Denver, which was 13-of-30 from beyond the arc.
03/22 01:43:54 ET
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