DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points in his 1,000th NBA game to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 98-89 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.
Jason Terry contributed 18 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to help the defending NBA champs (3-4) string together consecutive wins for the first time this season.
Lamar Odom added 15 points in his best game since joining the Mavericks in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 11.
Steve Nash had 15 points and 12 assists for the Suns (2-4), while Marcin Gortat had 22 points and 10 rebounds.
The Mavericks lost their first three games while trying to introduce five new faces into the lineup after the departures of five key players from the team that won its first title last season.
Nowitzki is the team's career leader in most categories, including points. He already had the record for games played and was appearing in his 975th game as a starter.
The Mavs broke the game open with a 13-4 third-quarter run capped by five straight points from Nowitzki, including a three-point play for a 62-49 lead.
Terry hit a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to make it 77-66.
Terry connected on three more from behind the arc early in the fourth, the final one pushing the Mavs' advantage to 92-71 with 7:46 remaining.
The Suns kept hustling and trimmed the deficit to 96-87 on Nash's 3-pointer with 2:50 to play, but the Phoenix couldn't get any closer.
The Mavericks were up at halftime, 49-41 behind Nowitzki's 13 points.
Dallas' bench outscored the Suns' in the first half, 20-6, and the Mavs built a 32-23 rebounding edge.
NOTES: Nowitzki is the 98th player in NBA history with at least 1,000 games. ... Dallas F Shawn Marion had been questionable (illness), but was in the starting lineup and finished with 13 points. ... The teams met for the first time this season. Dallas swept all four games last season. ... Recently-signed Phoenix G Michael Redd has begun working back into basketball shape but coach Alvin Gentry said Redd won't be ready to be activated for 10-14 days. ... Football players from Arkansas and Kansas State were in attendance. The teams meet Friday in the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.