"It helps to have depth," Carlisle said. "We need all those guys but this (Kaman's injury) is a big hit for us."
In a first half marked by lackluster defense on both sides, Nowitzki's long jumper put Dallas up 37-28.
Nowitzki, who missed the Mavericks' first 27 games after surgery on his right knee, hit another jumper that extended the lead to 47-36. Darren Collison scored 10 straight points and Dallas closed out the first half with 19-6 run to take a 59-42 lead.
Portland struggled with its 3-point shot, going 2 for 12 in the first half.
Mayo's step back jumper pushed Dallas' lead to 69-48 after the break.
Batum, who had two triple-doubles last week for the Blazers, didn't hit from the field until a 3 with 4:43 left in the third quarter that made it 74-58. Luke Babbitt hit a 3-pointer and Aldridge made a short jumper to narrow it, and Portland pulled closer to 78-72 after Aldridge and rookie Damian Lillard each hit free throws.
Portland finished the third on a 16-4 run to get within 74-80 to start the final period.
Batum's driving layup cut Dallas' lead to 86-83 with 8:20 left. After Vince Carter made two free throws for the Mavs, Ronnie Price hit a 3-pointer and Sasha Pavlovic dunked to tie it up at 88.
"This type of loss is about as tough as it gets in the league," Nowitzki said. "We played well enough to win it. Tonight we found a way to lose, instead of finding a way to win. That's the sad thing."
NOTES: The Mavs beat the Blazers 114-91 on Nov. 5 in Dallas. ... The Mavericks were flagged with a technical for six players on the floor late in the first half. ... Portland had 38 points in the third quarter, a season high. ... Aldridge and Hickson are the first Blazers to have at least 26 points and 13 rebounds in the same game since Clyde Drexler and Jerome Kersey on Dec. 2, 1987, against the Lakers. ... It was the 10th time this season the Blazers had won a game in which they trailed at halftime. ... Before Tuesday night, Aldridge had gone 0 for 9 from 3-point range.