BOSTON -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and the Mavs won five games in a row for the first time this season with Sunday's 102-91 victory over the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
It was the Mavs' first five-game winning streak since Feb. 8-17, 2012, when they actually won six games in a row.
The Mavs improved to 31-21 on the season and vaulted 10 games over .500 for the first time since they ended the 2010-'11 season with a 57-25 record.
Meanwhile, Monta Ellis ended the drama surrounding his strained right hamstring and started Sunday. Ellis wound up playing 28 minutes and scored 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Also for the Mavs, Jose Calderon had 18 points, Vince Carter scored 14, Shawn Marion finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Devin Harris added 13 points and six assists.
Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 15 points.
The Mavs, who didn't even play Ellis in the fourth period, led 89-65 with 7:29 to go in the game and coasted from there. But the Celtics went on a 24-9 run to get within 98-89 with a little over a minute left.
-- Dwain Price
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