DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points and the Dallas Mavericks held off Sacramento 107-103 Friday night, handing the Kings their sixth straight loss in another game without leading scorer DeMarcus Cousins.
A night after being named an All-Star for the 12th time, Nowitzki helped the Mavericks rally in the fourth quarter after they squandered a double-digit lead in the first half and fell behind by 14 in the third.
Brandan Wright had his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, including a floater in the lane that put the Mavericks ahead for good at 96-94.
Rudy Gay scored 35 to lead the Kings, who have the worst record in the Western Conference (15-31) and were without Cousins for the fifth straight game because of a sprained left ankle. He is likely to miss his sixth straight in San Antonio on Saturday night.
Dallas was up 102-100 after a bucket by Gay with 24 seconds left. But the Kings didn't foul right away, and Vince Carter found Monta Ellis underneath for a three-point play.
Sacramento was still within two after a 3-pointer by Marcus Thornton, but Ellis made a pair of free throws to seal it. Ellis scored 11 in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 after going scoreless most of the first half.
The Mavericks, who couldn't hold a double-digit lead in the first half, went back in front with a 9-0 run capped by a pair of free throws from Nowitzki for an 89-87 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
The Kings matched their longest skid of the season despite starting the second half with a 17-3 run that included consecutive 3-pointers from Thomas, who scored 13 in the third quarter but was held to two points on 1-of-7 shooting in the fourth.
Thomas finished with 19, but he and Gay were the only double-figure scorers for the Kings.
Sacramento's lead grew to 14 on a layup by Aaron Gray before the Mavericks finished the third on an 11-3 run highlighted by Ellis' steal and breakaway dunk that got the deficit back under 10 at 78-70.
The Mavericks played without Shawn Marion, who has lingering soreness from shoulder and ribs injuries sustained in early January. He missed the first four games after getting injured.
NOTES: Dallas' Jose Calderon and Thomas were called for a double technical when Calderon went to the floor away from the ball after making contact with Thomas. Calderon got up yelling at Thomas and kept going after a whistle stopped play, leading to the technical. The pair had a friendly halftime chat mediated by referee Tony Brothers. ... Nowitzki had his third career game of at least 38 points and 17 rebounds in Wednesday's loss to Houston. The Mavericks won the other two. ... The Mavericks recalled G Ricky Ledo from the NBA Development League. It was Ledo's third recall in January.