Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points over the first three quarters, then saw his teammates take control in the fourth to carry the Dallas Mavericks to a 106-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Nowitzki asked for more help from his teammates after the last game and certainly got it. Six other Mavericks scored in double-figures, with Jason Terry scoring 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. He sealed the victory with four free throws in the final 20.6 seconds. Nowitzki was 0 for 2 in the final period.
Erick Dampier had 13 points and 10 rebounds, Jason Kidd had 10 points and 10 assists, Josh Howard and J.J. Barea had 11 points and Shawn Marion had 10 as the Mavericks pulled out a split of a four-game homestand, and avenged a 16-point loss in Memphis earlier this month.
Zach Randolph had 27 points and 14 rebounds and Rudy Gay had 22 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't enough for the Grizzlies, who had won three straight.
Randolph appeared headed to a third straight 30-point game by making nine straight shots and scoring 21 of Memphis' first 39 points, helping the Grizzlies lead by as many as 10. Then the Mavericks started double-teaming him and the easy baskets he had been scoring became a lot tougher.
Dallas held Randolph without a basket from 9:42 of the second quarter to 9:43 of the fourth. By then, the Mavericks had taken control.
Nowitzki powered a 14-3 run early in the third quarter that took Dallas from trailing by four to leading by seven. He hit his first five shots of the third quarter and looked ready to dominate late the way Randolph did early.
But, he didn't. Nowitzki turned into a complementary player either by coincidence or by design. Regardless, his teammates came through.
Terry and Howard combined for 20 of the Mavericks' 27 points in the fourth quarter. Dampier had only one basket, but it was a biggie -- a layup after Memphis got within 97-96 with 2:20 left. Nowitzki actually assisted on that one.
Nowitzki, still playing with a huge bandage on his shooting elbow because of a gruesome injury last week, was 10 of 16. He didn't shoot a free throw for the first time all season.