DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki tallied 34 points to pace the Dallas Mavericks to a 107-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Friday night at American Airlines Center.
With the victory, the Mavs increased their record to 27-21 and also moved to 2-1 on this four-game home stand which ends Monday against Cleveland. The Kings dropped to 15-31.
The win enabled the Mavs to hold onto the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. Had the Mavs lost they would have dropped to ninth place since Memphis defeated Minnesota 94-90 on Friday.
A 3-point play by Monta Ellis with 12.4 seconds pushed the Mavs ahead 105-100. Ellis also hit a pair of free throws with 4.6 seconds to go to give Dallas a 107-103 lead.
Ellis, who had 17 points the previous two games combined, finished with 20 points.
Also for the Mavs, Jose Calderon scored 14 points and Brandan Wright collected 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Rudy Gay led the Kings with 35 points and 12 rebounds, and Isaiah Thomas had 19 points and six assists.
Dallas led 24-20 after the first quarter and 54-49 at the half. But the Kings erupted offensively and carried an 81-75 lead into the fourth period.
Sacramento led by as much as 14 points -- 78-64 -- late in the third period.
-- Dwain Price
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