Shawn Marion and Jason Terry decided it was time for the Dallas Mavericks to run.
And they went right past the worn-out Memphis Grizzlies in the fourth quarter for a 95-85 victory Wednesday night.
"We concentrated on getting some transition offense. We were able to get out and run," Marion said. "We want to make teams pay for their mistakes."
Marion scored 10 of his 16 points, with Terry setting up some of the baskets and making some of his own, and the Mavericks went ahead to stay with a 21-4 run over a 7-minute span in the fourth quarter. Memphis, playing for the third straight night, made only one of 12 shots in that stretch.
"We ran out of gas," guard Mike Conley said. "In the fourth quarter, we couldn't score, shots weren't falling for us, and they got too many easy looks in transition."
The Grizzlies had a 73-68 lead after Quincy Pondexter's three-point play with 10 minutes left. By time Marion had a breakaway dunk with 3 minutes left, Dallas was in control and avoiding another damaging loss.
It was the first of two games in four days between the teams that are in a virtual tie for fifth place in the Western Conference standings. They play again Saturday in Memphis, a night after both play different teams.
Dallas (31-24) had dropped to sixth place behind Memphis after a 95-74 loss Monday night at home against the fourth-place Los Angeles Clippers. The Mavericks lost two of three in that season series, losing the tiebreaker against the Clippers.
"It was a good bounce-back for us," Terry said. "Obviously we're fighting with all these teams for playoff positioning and this was a crucial game for us, as are all of them."
The Grizzlies (30-23) had won five of six games, including road games against division leaders Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Before playing again in the rubber game of their three-game series, Memphis is at Miami on Friday, when Dallas hosts Portland.
"It's one thing to just play three games in a row, but we just played five in six (days)," coach Lionel Hollins said. "I thought we played well enough to win the game. We were in the game all the way. We kept staying ahead; staying ahead, and then right at the end we kind of just let go of the rope a little bit. And then they got the lead, and then they sustained their run."
Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks. Terry finished with 15 points while Delonte West had 14 on 6-of-7 shooting. Ian Mahinmi grabbed 10 rebounds.
O.J. Mayo had 17 points to lead Memphis, which had balanced scoring as seven players scored at least eight points. Mike Conley had 11 points.
Pondexter moved between Nowitzki and Lamar Odom to grab an offensive rebound and was fouled making the putback shot. He then added the free throw, before Terry's long jumper started the game-turning run and his inbound pass to Marion for a strong layup got the Mavericks within a point.
After Gilbert Arenas came up short on a shot, he fouled Marion on the other end. Marion hit both free throws for a 74-73 lead with 8 minutes left and putting the Mavs ahead to stay.
"They got anything they wanted in the fourth quarter," said Marc Gasol, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis.
Arenas had a shot blocked by Terry, and Nowitzki made two free throws before Marion's layup for a 10-0 Dallas spurt.
Mayo, who scored nine of his points in the fourth quarter, ended that portion of the Dallas run with a driving layup.
The Grizzlies were within 80-77 after two free throws by Mayo. But Nowitzki responded with a 3-pointer and Terry had a steal that led to a layup by Marion
Memphis led 46-36 when Conley made a 21-foot jumper with 3:24 left in the first half before Dallas cut its largest deficit with a 9-1 run.
Odom, back after missing Monday night's game with a stomach illness, made a short turnaround hook shot that finally dropped after rattling around the rim.
West had a pair of long jumpers before blocking a shot that led to a putback layup by Nowitzki to get within 47-45 with a minute left.
After Nowitzki pushed through Mayo while Rudy Gay tried to swat the ball away to make a basket, the Mavericks' All-Star head-butted the ball after it went through the hoop and shouted out in frustration.
Gay hit a 19-foot turnaround in the final second for a 51-47 halftime lead.
"We made them earn everything they got," Gasol said. "We've had a tough stretch and it isn't getting any easier."
NOTES: Memphis G Tony Allen left the game with 5:20 left after taking a hard foul from Brendan Haywood. Allen remained in a heap on the floor, dripping blood and leaving with a towel over his mouth. ... Terry's only 3-pointer was the 1,760th of his career, matching Peja Stojakovic for fifth on the NBA career list. ... Dallas G Jason Kidd (strained right groin) missed the second game in a row, and is expected to miss at least two more games. ... The Grizzlies played the fifth of seven games in nine days.