Ellis, Nowitzki help Mavericks top host Pacers

Indiana Pacers guard George Hill, right, drives on Dallas Mavericks guard Shane Larkin during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The Mavericks defeated the Pacers 81-73. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indiana Pacers guard George Hill, right, drives on Dallas Mavericks guard Shane Larkin during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. The Mavericks defeated the Pacers 81-73. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Monta Ellis had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points as the Dallas Mavericks handed the Indiana Pacers their third home loss of the season, 81-73 on Wednesday night.

The Mavericks (32-22), who have won six of seven, finished a three-game road trip heading into the NBA All-Star break. Dallas’ five-game winning streak was snapped at Charlotte on Tuesday.

George Hill had 14 points, and Lance Stephenson and Danny Granger both scored 13 points for the Pacers (40-12), who have lost two of three.

The Mavericks scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and took a 66-62 lead when Ellis made a free throw with 6:55 remaining.

Brandan Wright scored, Ellis made two more free throws, and Wright made a layup to give the Mavericks a 72-66 edge.

Ellis made a 3-pointer early in the second half to give the Mavericks a 46-42 lead. West hit a jumper, Samuel Dalembert also scored, and Hill sank a 3-pointer to make it 48-47.

Paul George scored to give the Pacers their first lead of the second half, 53-52, with 6:12 left in the quarter.

Indiana built its edge to 60-55, but Dallas scored five straight to tie it with 2:20 remaining in the third.

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