At the half: Mavs 53, Pacers 52

DALLAS -- It will apparently take more than Dirk Nowitzki’s return to dominant form for the Mavs to put away the pesky Pacers.

Nowitzki broke out of the longest slump since his rookie season by lighting it up for 20 points in the first half. He knocked down his first six shots and was 9-of-11 in the half, mixing in a layup and a transition 3-pointer with a lot of midrange jumpers.

Yet the Mavs only lead by one point at the break.

Rick Carlisle mentioned during his pregame chat with the media that the Pacers don’t lose when they shoot 3s well. He better hope he’s wrong about that.

Indiana was 7-of-14 from 3-point range in the half, led by Paul George (12 points, 4-of-6 from long range). David West, a bitter Dirk rival from his days with the Hornets, has a team-high 12 points for Indiana.