DALLAS -- Guard Monta Ellis' sheer ability to take over Tuesday's game against Washington was a thing of beauty for forward Dirk Nowitzki to watch.
The Mavs led the Wizards 71-56 with 8:31 left in the third quarter, but saw that 15-point lead whittle to 89-84 with 8:38 remaining in the game. However, from there Ellis scored 10 of the Mavs' final 16 points and also assisted on baskets by Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki which helped the Mavs escape with a 105-95 victory over the Wizards.
Nowitzki, who passed Jerry West to become the NBA's 16th all-time leading scorer on Tuesday, has marveled at the way Ellis has been able to quickly get by defenders and to the rim.
"His first step is so explosive that if you play up close he's basically already by you, and if you play off a little bit he’s really elevating on the jump shot and he can get a shot off any time,'' Nowitkzi said. "And if that shot goes in he's a tough matchup.
"He had a good rhythm there to start the fourth and we needed all the baskets. Washington is a talented young athletic team, so we knew they were going to keep coming, so Monta really took us over the top there in the fourth.''
-- Dwain Price
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