Nowitzki scores 21 to help Mavs past Grizz, who have lost 14 of 18

DALLAS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points while also getting some rest and a lot of help in the Dallas Mavericks' 92-81 victory Friday night over the Memphis Grizzlies.

The result was pretty much the same for the Grizzlies. Coming off four straight losses at home, the last two after Pau Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis lost its seventh straight road game and 14th of 18 overall.

Nowitzki scored 10 straight points for the Mavericks in the third quarter when they put the game out of reach. A layup and a long jumper by Dallas' lone All-Star ended his streak, but those baskets started an 11-0 run by the Mavs that Jason Terry capped with a 3-pointer that made it 69-48 with 4 minutes left.

With the Mavericks facing four games in five-day stretch before the All-Star break starting Sunday, Nowitzki played only a season-low 26 minutes. He left the game for good with 1:56 left in the third quarter.

Nowitzki, coming off his first career triple-double on Wednesday night, hit 7-of-10 field goals and made all seven free throws. He also had six rebounds.

Rudy Gay led Memphis with 18 points and matched a season best with 12 rebounds. Mike Miller scored 15 points.

Devean George had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting for the Mavs, while Brandon Bass had 12 points and Jason Terry 11. Eight Dallas players had at least seven points.

Jerry Stackhouse, back after missing seven games with a sore right hamstring, eased back into action with seven points and three assists in 11 first-half minutes. Coach Avery Johnson said Stackhouse was OK and that the second-half sitdown was planned, but Stackhouse later acknowledged that he tweaked the hamstring.

"I wanted to get out there and test it, and it's not where I want it to be," Stackhouse said. "It was good to get some minutes."

DeSagana Diop got his first start since Jan. 6 with Erick Dampier (sprained right ankle) out, and responded with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting and 12 rebounds.

Nowitzki wasn't on the floor when Dallas broke a 20-20 tie with a 10-2 run to open the second quarter -- or when Gay then had a personal 8-0 run in less than 2 minutes to tie the game for the last time.

George had consecutive 20-foot jumpers, then a defensive rebound and a pass to Bass for a fastbreak jumper that made it 36-30. That was the start of a 19-8 run over the final 6:48 of the first half.

Dallas scored 61 first-half points in a 103-84 victory at Memphis last week, but got off a slow start this time by missing their first five shots.

Nowitzki's 20-foot jumper with 14 seconds left in the first quarter made it 20-20, the fifth tie of the game. It was only tied once more after that.

Stackhouse hit a 3-pointer, then Terry had consecutive jumpers in the first 96 seconds of the second quarter. Nowitzki scored five points in the final minute for a 49-38 halftime lead.

Game notes
Memphis has its longest road losing streak since dropping 10 in a row from Dec. 8, 2006 through Jan. 22, 2007. ... Dallas had a 25-point lead to start the fourth before 11 straight missed field goals, with all the starters on the bench, that closed the final margin. ... Nowitzki scored at least 20 points for the 23rd time in 25 games. ... Dallas got three technical fouls for 3-second violations on the defensive end.


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