National Basketball Association
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              === Fourth-quarter surge lifts Mavs past Pacers ===
 Indianapolis,  IN ( - 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
 "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.
                                   Game Notes
 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