By that point, the Mavericks were already a total mess.
Michael Redd scored 27 points, punctuated by a crossover, fadeaway jumper over Nowitzki, and Charlie Villanueva added 32 points and 10 rebounds, lifting the Bucks to a 133-99 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night.
“It was one of those nights when the basket opened up for us, and we were able to knock them down,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “We can’t really complain about our defensive effort.”
But it was the offense that helped Milwaukee snap its two-game losing skid.
After Jason Kidd hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 67 early in the third quarter, Dan Gadzuric, who started with seven straight misses, tipped in a shot and Redd began to find his stroke, hitting 3-pointers on three straight possessions to spark a 19-2 run.
Redd wasn’t finished.
With Nowitzki guarding him on a switch, the veteran guard did a quick crossover for a little space and then hit a 16-foot jumper while fading to the baseline.
“I knew I had a bigger man on me. Dirk has done it so many times to other people,” said Redd, who had 16 in the quarter. “I had the advantage and had to put him in the blender a little bit and just have fun with it.”
Then Redd used a pump fake to shake his defender, burying another jumper over Nowitzki. Moments later, Villanueva was left uncovered for a 3-pointer that made it 97-76 and he hesitated on his follow-through for a moment to admire his shot.
It was all fun for the Bucks after a 1-2 West Coast trip without Andrew Bogut. Bogut was out for the fourth straight game due to back spasms, but the Bucks didn’t need his physical presence or rebounding.
“I’m happy to be back home,” said Villanueva, who has double-doubles in three of his past four games. “That West Coast trip was brutal to us, it was tough for us. We didn’t play our best basketball but we definitely bounced back from it.”
The Bucks shot 29 percent in the first quarter, but picked up the pace with 111 points over the final three quarters. Milwaukee made a season-best 13 3-pointers and committed nine turnovers.
“The second quarter they shot 83 percent from the field. The third quarter they shot 74,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “I am just disappointed particularly in the way the second and third quarters came down. We’re better than that, and we should be better than that.”
Milwaukee missed eight shots over a span of 24 minutes to take a 101-85 lead heading into the fourth, but Dallas never made a run, leaving Mavs owner Mark Cuban shaking his head just behind the bench.
“It’s just embarrassing, really,” Nowitzki said. “They got whatever they wanted—wide-open shots, drives, layups.”
Ramon Sessions, who finished with 21 points, hit all seven of his attempts and Milwaukee shot 57.8 percent as a team.
“It’s hard to lose when you’re shooting like that,” he said. “Any team would get frustrated.”
Midway through the fourth, Carlisle took out both Kidd, who finished with 18 points, and Nowitzki, who went 7-of-16 from the field and 16-of-17 from the free-throw line to finish with 30.
The duo even walked onto the court toward the locker room before the final seconds ticked off.
“Usually you get one stop, get a bucket, get another stop and you can make a run. But it seemed like we could never get two stops in a row,” said Nowitzki, who jammed his left thumb and had it taped early in the second quarter. “It’s just all over the place bad.”
Josh Howard scored 19 points for the Mavericks in his second game back after missing four in a row with an injured left wrist. … Cuban got tossed out of a courtside seat valued at $400 early in the game. He was sitting in one of the four seats to the left of the Dallas bench, but the ticketholders showed up and Cuban was forced to relocate. No worries, though. He grabbed a folding chair and created a seat for himself directly behind the bench. That view would be worth $226. … Nowitzki hit 12 straight free throws in the game before missing his second in 2009. He’s 81-of-83 since Jan. 1.