NEW YORK (AP) — Frustrated with the lack of playing time in his first year in the NBA last season, Brooklyn Nets reserve forward Mirza Teletovic stayed composed and patient.
Now with a chance to contribute, Teletovic is coming up big for the Nets.
Teletovic scored 24 of his career-high 34 points in the second quarter and the Nets held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 107-106 Friday night for their fourth straight win.
"Confidence is very important. With the confidence it's so much easier to make shots, to move around, to play and do anything on the court," said Teletovic, who shot 12 for 18 from the field including 7 of 11 beyond the 3-point arc.
"I think it's very important to have patience and wait for your moment. You have to be ready when your name is called. If you're not ready, you can't do anything."
The Nets improved to an NBA best 9-1 in January.
"I think just the opportunity for him playing, but also his work ethic," coach Jason Kidd said. "He just doesn't show up on game day shooting. He's been working extremely hard at this game. I think also, a big credit goes to his teammates because they believe in him. As much as coaches believe in him, his teammates in that locker room believe that he's going to do the right thing when he has the ball."
Paul Pierce had 12 points and Kevin Garnett added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Brooklyn, which has won seven straight at home, a season-high.
Former Net Vince Carter had 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points for the Mavs, who lost their second straight game.
Brooklyn almost blew a 11-point lead after Teletovic hit a 3-pointer to make it 100-89 with 4:35 left in the fourth quarter.
Dallas then mounted a late rally, going on an 11-5 run to close in within two points with 8.1 seconds left in the game.
Deron Williams, who came off the bench for the third straight game and posted 18 points and dished out 11 assists, hit one of two free throws to extend the Nets' lead to 103-98 with 27.3 left.
The Mavs cut the lead down to 103-100 after Donta Ellis made a layup and Brooklyn was able to quickly increase it to 105-100 after Ellis sent Pierce to the free throw line for a pair of successful shots. Shawn Marion managed to bring Dallas within three points after two free throws with 10.8 left to make it 105-102.