The 7-foot German forward is averaging 29.9 points on nearly 48 percent shooting from the field in January. He finished with 35 points and 11 rebounds on Sunday to lift Dallas past Denver 95-93 for the Mavericks’ fifth win in a row and 10th in their last 12.
Nowitzki struggled from the line after going 79-of-84 in his previous 10 games. He missed five free throws to snap a streak of 46 consecutive free throws made—three shy of the team record—and finished 8-for-13.
He even flubbed a pair in the fourth quarter with the game tied, but subsequently recovered to score nine points, including a layup and a free throw to seal the win.
“Dirk is a special player,” said teammate Michael Finley, who added 17 points. “A couple games a year you stand back and think how good it is that he’s your teammate. This is one of those games. He did what it takes to win.”
The solid play of point guard Jason Terry and reserve Jerry Stackhouse have also boosted the surging Mavericks, who have won six of their last eight road games. Terry had 15 points and five assists while Stackhouse added 11 points and a season-high 12 rebounds against Denver.
Terry is averaging 16.6 points and 6.1 assists over his last 10 games and Stackhouse is adding 17.3 points in that span. Terry scored 11 points in the third quarter alone on Thursday to help Dallas beat Los Angeles 99-77 in the teams’ first meeting this season.
The Clippers are looking to avoid a season-high sixth straight loss. Elton Brand led Los Angeles with 28 points and 11 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double in an 88-85 loss against the league-worst Hornets on Saturday.
Bobby Simmons added 17 points and Rick Brunson had 12 assists for Los Angeles, which also lost five straight from Dec. 11-19. Leading scorer Corey Maggette sat out with a sore left foot and remains questionable for this game.
Dallas may be without forward Josh Howard, who left Sunday’s game with back spasms.
The Mavericks have won three straight and 21 of the last 26 meetings with the Clippers.