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Question of the Day
DALLAS (AP) - Devin Harris rolled through the lane, hit a layup and pumped his fist when the whistle blew for a foul.
Vince Carter tipped a loose ball three times before emphatically grabbing the rebound, scowling while the play was still going on in a sequence that led to a 3-pointer.
The Mavericks had lost three straight, capped by a woeful defeat in Denver, before coming home to beat a pair of playoff teams in Portland and Indiana.
Dallas had to rally past the Trail Blazers in the fourth quarter after blowing a 30-point lead, and the Pacers came back from 17 down in the first half and almost wiped out another double-digit deficit after halftime.
“In these two games, we’ve run the gamut of virtually everything,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “The early big lead, losing the entire lead, getting down and fighting back. And tonight, this is a top-two team in the league. We did it by keeping a real even, strong disposition.”
Paul George had 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pacers, who stayed a game and a half up on Miami for the East lead after the Heat lost in overtime to Chicago.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 14 points on a tough shooting night as the Mavericks swept the two-game season series from the Pacers, who were coming off their most lopsided loss in a 26-point defeat at Houston.
“Stay the course,” Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. “It’s a tough stretch of the schedule. We knew it was going to be tough. You’re going to have to play at your best to win at Dallas, at Houston.”
“It’s a spiritually uplifting play for our team and everybody in the arena,” Carlisle said. “You see a 37-year-old guy go up three times and then tear it down. That’s big time, and he’s showing you how much he wants to win.”
Ellis, who matched big men Nowitzki and Sam Dalembert with eight rebounds, put the game away in the final 2 minutes with a pair of jumpers that gave the Mavericks yet another double-digit lead at 102-92 with 56 seconds left.
“We really responded after losing three in a row,” said Harris, who also had a season-high four steals. “Obviously we started off well and ended well, but had some trouble in between.”
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