INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle provided a spark, and his team played just as he hoped.
Monta Ellis had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points as the Mavericks handed the Indiana Pacers their third home loss of the season, 81-73 on Wednesday night.
"Coach got on us pretty good this morning," Nowitzki said. "I thought we responded. We battled them and tried to make it tough on them."
The Mavericks (32-22), who have won six of seven, finished a three-game road trip heading into the NBA All-Star break. Dallas' five-game winning streak was snapped at Charlotte on Tuesday.
"It wasn't that we didn't respect Charlotte," Carlisle said. "It's that we had such great respect for Indiana. We knew we were going to have to play at a super high level."
It wasn't easy for either team.
Dallas won despite its second-lowest point total this season. The NBA's highest-scoring team netted only 80 points in a loss to New York on Jan. 5.
The Mavericks came out on top by holding the Pacers to a season-worst 32.1 percent shooting.
George Hill had 14 points, and Lance Stephenson and Danny Granger both scored 13 for the Pacers (40-12), who have lost two of three.
"They beat us at our game," Hill said. "They played well tonight and we just didn't play good enough. We gave one away. It's unfortunate, but it's over now."
The Mavericks outscored the Pacers 21-11 in the final quarter and scored the first six points of the fourth. Dallas took a 66-62 lead when Ellis made a free throw with 6:55 remaining.
Brandan Wright scored, Ellis made two more free throws, and Wright made a layup to give the Mavericks a 72-66 edge.
Ellis made a 3-pointer early in the second half to give the Mavericks a 46-42 lead. West hit a jumper, Samuel Dalembert also scored, and Hill sank a 3-pointer to make it 48-47.
Paul George scored to give the Pacers their first lead of the second half, 53-52, with 6:12 left in the quarter.