MILWAUKEE -- Guard Monta Ellis had 18 points and five assists in his return to Milwaukee as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Bucks 91-83 on Saturday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Ellis went 6-of-14 from the field as Dallas shot 42.3 percent. Forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 points, forward Shawn Marion finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and forward Vince Carter chipped in 13 points in 21 minutes off the bench.
The Mavericks held a comfortable lead throughout the first half, but Milwaukee made it a one-possession game late in the third before struggling to hold onto the ball in the final quarter.
Dallas built a nine-point lead in the final quarter before Milwaukee again mounted a comeback, drawing within a bucket on guard O.J. Mayo's 3-pointer with 3:33 left that made it 81-79. But eight turnovers in the fourth prevented Milwaukee from winning consecutive games for the first time this season.
Mayo finished with 28 points and was 4-of-7 on 3-point attempts. Guard Caron Butler had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who shot 38.3 percent from the field but made 11-of-23 3-pointers to stay in the game.
Milwaukee finished with 20 turnovers, which Dallas converted into 16 points.
While the Bucks shot just 33 percent from the field in the first quarter, the Mavericks made 13-of-22 and 4-of-5 3-pointers to take a 34-19 lead.
Dallas' shooters cooled off in the second, hitting just 7-of-18, but the Mavericks maintained the 15-point lead at the break.
Dallas led by as many as 18 in the third but committed five turnovers that allowed Milwaukee to come storming back and get within three. Point guard Brandon Knight's transition layup made it 66-63 with 1:38 left in the period.
NOTES: Bucks C Larry Sanders was not available because of a thumb injury sustained last Saturday against Toronto. ... Bucks PG Brandon Knight did not start but made his first appearance since suffering a hamstring injury. He entered the game with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter. ... Dallas G Monta Ellis spent the last 1 1/2 seasons with the Bucks and Bucks G O.J. Mayo played last season with the Mavericks. ... Milwaukee F John Henson and Dallas F Jae Crowder came into the game ranked first and third, respectively, in field-goal percentage this season. ... Crowder played collegiately in Milwaukee for Marquette, with whom he earned Big East Player of the Year honors in 2012. ... The Mavericks are 7-24 in Milwaukee. The Bucks have not lost consecutive home games to Dallas since 1987-88.