Nowitzki and Mavs take down Pistons
Auburn Hills, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Dirk Nowitzki led six Dallas players in double figures with 24 points as the Mavericks took a 113-102 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Vince Carter added 18 points while Monta Ellis, Samuel Dalembert and Shawn Marion each finished with double-doubles for the Mavericks, winners in three of their last four.
"Just trying to do my part. It's the second part of the season, so it's crunch time," Carter said. "This is where you earn your money. I'm just trying to give our bench a lift and get us in the playoffs, where we feel like we should be."
Ellis had 12 points and 13 assists, Dalembert scored 12 and pulled down 11 boards and Marion scored 10 and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Josh Smith finished with a season-high 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting and Greg Monroe scored 17 points and 17 boards for the Pistons, losers in four of their last five.
"Dallas is a good team. We talked earlier about how do you get better probably defensively and offensively, you play together," said Pistons coach John Loyer. "Some of those guys on that team played together for quite a while and with our group, we haven't played together that long. They kind of pick you apart a little bit."
Dallas held a slim 29-27 lead after 12 minutes, but outscored the Pistons 35-27 in the second half to take a 64-54 lead into the break. Dallas shot 12- for-19 from the field in the frame and went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
Marion stretched the Mavs' lead to 13, 75-62, with his dunk near the midway point of the third, but an 18-9 swing from the Pistons pulled Detroit within 84-80 with 1:18 left. Branden Wright's dunk with six seconds left in the quarter gave Dallas an 88-82 lead entering the final frame.
The Pistons pulled within four several times in the early stages of the fourth quarter, the last coming on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's layup at the 8:59 mark.
The Mavericks countered with a 10-3 run that essentially put the game out of reach. Nowitzki got the surge started with a 3-pointer and Ellis added four points on the spurt.
Detroit never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
Dallas outrebounded the Pistons by a 50-30 margin and had 31 assists to Detroit's 21 helpers ... The Mavs starters were 29-for-57 from the field (50.9 percent) ... Monroe tied a season-high with 17 boards ... Detroit had 24 points in transition.
02/22 23:58:07 ET