Mavericks 91, Bucks 83

THE FACT: O.J. Mayo won the scoring battle but Monta Ellis won the war as the former Bucks guard led Dallas over the Bucks and the former Mavericks guard.
THE LEAD: Ellis posted 18 points, five assists and three steals to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 91-83 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Ellis continually broke down Milwaukee's defense in the first quarter as the Mavericks (4-3) built a 34-19 after one and led by as many as 19 in the third quarter.
Mayo led all scorers with 28 points and helped rally the Bucks (2-3) within two points in the fourth quarter, but they never got back to even. Caron Butler added 19 and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, while Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points for the Mavericks.
QUOTABLE: "We were losing momentum really fast and those guys were starting to feel confident. I just read a play and jumped in the passing lane, and then we got one right after that with DeJuan Blair. That spark really gave us the momentum to put the game away."
-- Dallas forward Jae Crowder on his steal that ignited a 6-0 run and turned a 70-67 lead into a 76-67 margin two minutes into the fourth quarter.
THE STAT: The Bucks committed 20 turnovers that led to 20 Dallas points. Worse, half of those turnovers came from veterans Mayo (six) and Gary Neal (four), while rookie point guard Nate Wolters committed just one in 35 minutes and 45 seconds of playing time.
TURNING POINT: The Bucks rallied to cut what had been a 19-point deficit down to two, and they were still within one possession at 70-67, early in the fourth quarter with possession. But Crowder read a lazy pass from Brandon Knight, and his steal led a fast-break basket by Gal Mekel. Seconds later, Blair stole a bad pass from Mayo and went the other way for a dunk. The Bucks did get within two points twice but never had the momentum to get over the top.
QUOTABLE II: "Monta is an attacker. He's going to get in the lane, he's going to cause problems. We need to get him the ball in the right situations and let him play his game. He made a couple really smart plays down the stretch -- he got to the free throw line, he hit a big shot and made one really good pass to Dirk, who was able to hit a big shot."
-- Dallas coach Rick Carlisle on Ellis
HOT: Mayo went 4-for-7 on 3-pointers and is 10-for-14 from behind the arc in the last two games.
NOT: Bucks forward John Henson entered the game as the league leader in field goal percentage (67.7 percent) but finished just 3-for-8.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Mayo scored 28 points for the second straight game.
GOOD MOVE: Carlisle kept Nowitzki down to just over 32 minutes, and the rest helped the 35-year-old forward stay strong and score four important points in the final 1:40.
ROOKIE WATCH: Guard Gal Mekel chipped in four points in 13 minutes for the Mavs. Wolters made his third straight start for the Bucks and had five points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals in just under 36 minutes.
NOTABLE: Starters Larry Sanders (thumb) and Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) each missed his second straight game for Milwaukee, and backup veteran point guard Luke Ridnour missed his fifth straight game with back spasms. ... Center Brandan Wright (shoulder) and guard Devin Harris (foot) remained out for Dallas. ... Point guard Brandon Knight saw his first action for the Bucks since aggravating a hamstring injury two minutes into the season opener. ... Forward Shawn Marion had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. ... The Mavs scored their first road victory after three losses. ... Zaza Pachulia had his streak of 23 made free throws snapped in the second quarter.
UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Tuesday vs. Washington, Friday @ Miami, Saturday @ Orlando. For the Bucks, Tuesday @ Miami, Wednesday @ Orlando, Friday @ Indiana.


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