Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry power Mavs to 8th straight victory

DALLAS -- Once again, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry came through in crunch time for the Dallas Mavericks.

Nowitzki scored 29 points, Terry added 21 and the Mavericks pulled away in the final 3 minutes to stretch their winning streak to eight games with a 116-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

The Mavericks were ahead by as many as 14 in the third quarter but couldn't put away the Pacers, who pulled within 101-98 on Darren Collison's 3-pointer with 3:24 left.

But Terry hit back-to-back 15-foot jumpers, the second with 2:29 left as he fell out of bounds along the right baseline, and Jason Kidd converted two free throws to push Dallas' lead to 107-98.

Of Dallas' 26 fourth-quarter points, Terry had eight and Nowitzki added seven as coach Rick Carlisle called just about every play for his clutch scorers.

"In the fourth quarter, Coach looks for myself and Dirk," Terry said. "We do a good job playing off each other."

Kidd's 15 points and Rodrigue Beaubois' 13 helped the Mavericks to their 18th win in 19 games.

Nowitzki had a big offensive night, connecting on 10 of 12 field goal attempts and nine of 10 from the free throw line.

"We were aggressive and attacking in the fourth quarter," he said. "That was good to see."

Danny Granger had 22 points and Collison 17 for the Pacers, who have lost four of five but are 10-7 since Frank Vogel took over as interim coach after Jim O'Brien was fired Jan. 30.

The Pacers simply had few defensive answers for Terry and Nowitzki in the final quarter.

"Down the stretch they made some big shots, Jason Terry and Dirk," Granger said. "Dirk only missed two shots the whole game, so that pretty much sums it up."

Shawn Marion's dunk with less than a second left in the third quarter gave Dallas a 90-81 edge entering the final quarter.

The Mavericks used a 33-24 second quarter to build a 68-57 advantage at the break. Dallas put up a season high for points in any half on 63 percent shooting from the floor (26-for-41).

While the Mavs were efficient offensively, their defense lacked consistency until the fourth quarter, when the Pacers missed 13 of 22 from the field with four turnovers.

"We tightened the screws when we needed it most," Carlisle said. "We certainly could have played better defense in the previous 45 minutes."

Nowitzki had 16 first-half points, Beaubois contributed 13 and Kidd added nine, hitting three of four 3-pointers.

Mavericks starting center Tyson Chandler missed the game with a sprained right ankle.

Chandler was injured in Tuesday night's 101-93 win at Philadelphia. He's also expected to sit out Sunday night's home game against Memphis, and will be re-evaluated next week.

Chandler has started all 57 games he's played in this season, averaging 10.4 points and 9.4 rebounds with 16 double-doubles.

Brendan Haywood started in place of Chandler and had 10 points and five rebounds.

Game notes
F Corey Brewer, signed to a three-year deal on Thursday, made his Mavericks debut, entering the game with 8:34 left in the second quarter. Brewer went scoreless with five fouls in 5 minutes, 21 seconds. "I've got to stop fouling," Brewer said. "I was a little bit too aggressive." ... Carlisle said Brewer's a fast learner who's happy to be with a contender. "There were a lot of teams interested in him," Carlisle said. "He's picked up things very quickly. He had opportunities [to sign] in other places for more money. That tells me that he's interested in a winning situation." ... Dallas has won its past seven at home against Indiana, but the Pacers were 102-89 winners over the Mavs in Indy on Jan. 12 in the only other meeting between the teams this season.


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