- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: The big German is back to performing at a Hall of Fame level, but the Mavericks are still struggling to finish games.
Dirk Nowitzki’s 21 points and 20 rebounds -- his second consecutive monster double-double after failing to register any this season before Sunday -- weren’t enough to carry the Mavs to a win over the mediocre Milwaukee Bucks.
The Mavs blew a five-point lead in the final 3:12 after Nowitzki scored his final basket. Dallas missed eight of its final nine shots in that last stretch, with its only score a putback by Elton Brand, whose 12-point, 14-rebound outing also went to waste.
Nowitzki was 8-of-16 from the floor, but he missed two shots and committed two turnovers in the final 3:12.
Vince Carter, who has been arguably the Mavs’ best player for the past month and a half, had a miserable game. He was 0-for-8 from the floor with his only points coming on a pair of free throws early in the fourth quarter.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 22 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 1:03 to go.
What it means: So much for the nice little run the Mavs made. This was their second consecutive loss after a run of five wins in six games. Dallas fell to 25-31, putting them five games behind the eighth-place Houston Rockets and two behind the Los Angeles Lakers.
Play of the game: Monta Ellis’ 19-footer with 1:03 remaining gave the Bucks the lead for good. It was the last bucket of the game.
Stat of the night: Nowitzki had the sixth 20-point, 20-rebound game of his career. His last one came on April 3, 2003, when he had 25 points and 22 rebounds against the Lakers.
3hMarc Stein and Tim MacMahon