Nowitzki and Ellis accounted for Dallas’ final 19 points, including a 13-5 run that gave the Mavs the lead for good.
The spurt started with three consecutive midrange jumpers by Nowitzki, who finished with 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting but was only 1-of-10 from the floor in the first half. The Bobcats left Josh McRoberts alone on Nowitzki, and the Mavs took advantage of that matchup by getting the face of their franchise the ball on post-ups or isolations on three straight trips.
Ellis (22 points, 8-of-18 shooting) scored on the next three possessions, with Nowitzki mixing in a free throw following a technical foul. Ellis hit a pair of pull-up jumpers and made a driving layup during the span.
Nowitzki’s 21-footer with 27 seconds remaining was the dagger. Ellis sealed the victory with four free throws after that.
The Mavs shot a dreadful 31 percent in the first half and trailed the Bobcats by as many as 12 points in the third quarter. But Dallas’ stars sizzled in the fourth quarter, when Nowitzki and Ellis combined to score 24 of the Mavs’ 29 points.
What it means: The Mavs avoided crisis mode. This would have been their fifth loss in six games, but the Mavs pulled out the win to snap a two-game losing streak before they head to New Orleans to wrap up a back-to-back. The Mavs’ record improved to 11-8. The Bobcats dropped to 8-11.
Play of the game: There wasn’t much that was pretty in this game, but Ellis’ off-the-dribble baseline fadeaway with 3:43 remaining was a thing of beauty. It’s the kind of shot the Mavs don’t want Ellis to have to take, but he had no choice with the shot clock ticking down and did a great job of creating space to get off the high-arcing shot.
Stat of the night: In a first quarter that was far from aesthetically pleasing, the Bobcats attempted more free throws than field goals. Charlotte was 12-of-16 from the line and 3-of-15 from the floor.