DALLAS -- The Mavericks pulled away from a struggling Los Angeles Lakers squad for a 110-97 win.
How it happened: Monta Ellis snapped out of his slump just in time to slam the door on the Lakers and end the season’s longest home losing streak at four games.
After misfiring on nine of 11 shots in the first three quarters, Ellis caught fire in the fourth, scoring on five consecutive possessions. That scoring flurry, which featured a floater, a couple of driving layups and a pair of midrange jumpers, stretched Dallas’ lead from six to 13 points.
Dirk Nowitzki was Dallas’ dominant offensive force for most of the night, scoring 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting. He was one of five Mavs to finish in double figures.
Vince Carter had 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting off the bench. Ellis added 16 points, nine assists five steals. DeJuan Blair scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Jose Calderon contributed 12 points, eight assists and five steals.
The Mavs played the second half without small forward Shawn Marion, who left late in the second quarter after crashing to the floor. He suffered a right shoulder contusion. X-rays on Marion’s collarbone were negative.
What it means: The Mavs snapped a four-game home losing streak. That matched their longest home losing streak since a six-game skid that ended four days after Mark Cuban bought the franchise in January 2000. Dallas improved to 20-15 with the victory, padding their lead over the ninth-place Minnesota Timberwolves to 2 ½ games. The Lakers fell to 14-21 after losing for the eighth time in nine games.
Play of the game: The state of the Lakers was essentially summed up on an especially ugly possession early in the fourth quarter. Center Robert Sacre chased down a bad pass near midcourt and had to try to create something with the shot clock ticking down. After a few wild dribbles, he launched a pull-up from the free throw line that failed to draw iron.
Stat of the night: Calderon had a career-high five steals; he had only four previous games in which he had at least 12 points, eight assists and four steals.