DALLAS — Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 and Dallas extended its dominance over the Detroit Pistons by separating late for a 116-106 victory Sunday night.
The Mavericks (26-20) snapped a two-game losing streak with their sixth consecutive win over Detroit at American Airlines Center and 11th in the last 13 games in the series overall. The Pistons (17-27) have lost four straight.
If Nowitzki needed to make a case for a 12th All-Star berth, the league’s 13th-leading scorer didn’t disappoint in the opener of a four-game homestand. He made 10 of 16 shots, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists.
Mavericks guard Devin Harris scored 14 off the bench and racked up seven assists, providing a spark to finish out the third quarter and as Dallas blew the game open in the fourth. The Mavericks scored the first 10 points of the final period to turn a three-point game into a 13-point advantage and they cruised to the win.
Detroit guard Brandon Jennings paced the visitors with 26 points, with 12 coming in the third quarter. Forward Josh Smith scored 25 and grabbed eight boards. Forward Greg Monroe scored 20 and had nine rebounds.
The Mavericks shot a sizzling 58.1 percent (43-74) and had five players score in double figures. Joining Nowitzki and Harris were guard Jose Calderon (17 points), guard Monta Ellis (11) and guard Vince Carter (13).
Jennings led a push to open the second half as the Pistons took a 63-62 lead with a 17-6 run. Harris hit a couple of shots late in the third, as Dallas went into the final period up 84-81.
Dallas was up as many as 12 before taking a 56-46 lead into the locker room behind 13 points from Nowitzki. Ellis had nine points at the break.
The Mavericks made 10 consecutive shots in the first quarter and Nowitzki scored eight, but couldn’t pull away. The Pistons were down just 28-25 thanks to 11 points from Smith and seven Dallas turnovers in the period.
The Mavericks’ run at American Airlines Center continues Wednesday against Houston. The Pistons return home for one game Tuesday against Orlando.
NOTES: Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is certain F Dirk Nowitzki will be named an All-Star when reserves are announced Thursday. “I’ve looked at it pretty closely and he’ll make it,” Carlisle said. “I just have a feeling he will. If he doesn’t, that’s great, he’ll have rest.” … Detroit hasn’t won a regular-season series against Dallas since 1997-98. … The Pistons came into the game 1-9 in their last 10 games against the Western Conference. … Dallas G Vince Carter turned 37 Sunday. Among the four players 37 or older in the league, Carter’s scoring average of 11.3 points trails only San Antonio F Tim Duncan’s 14.6.
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