DALLAS -- Monta Ellis drilled a go-ahead jumper and the Milwaukee Bucks overcame a monstrous performance from Dirk Nowitzki to beat the Dallas Mavericks 95-90 on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.
Ellis scored the last of his 22 points with a 20-footer with 1:03 remaining, as the Bucks rallied from a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter with finished with a 14-4 kick. Milwaukee (27-28) snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 13-14 on the road.
Ellis added nine assists and six steals in 44 minutes, and played point guard the last three minutes.
"Monta was incredible all night long," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "He was all over the floor. His defense, you know, some of the steals he had were just amazing. There are not many guys who can do that. The way he's able to pick people's pockets and get his hands on some balls. The energy he played with was the difference in the game for us."
For the second straight game, the Mavericks (25-31) couldn't take advantage of a vintage Nowitzki showing. The former MVP scored 21 and pulled down a season-high 20 rebounds for his first 20-20 game in nearly 10 years.
"It's disappointing. Dirk played great; 21 and 20," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Some of the shots he hit were extremely difficult. There's always going to come a point in the game where other guys around him are going to have to step up, they're going to have to make simple plays and they're going to have to knock down shots."
Nowitzki had a season-best 30 points and 13 boards in Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. Those are his only two double-doubles of the season.
"It is a collective thing," Shawn Marion said. "Dirk has had two great game but we haven't won. We all have to find ways to figure out better ways to win these games. Coach said we had 20 turnovers tonight. That is big. Everyone has to be held accountable."
The Mavericks (25-31) finished a stretch of playing seven of eight games at home at 5-3. Dallas twice had double-digit leads over the Bucks only to fall behind before seemingly taking control in the final period.
The Bucks were in the tailspin, having dropped nine of their last 11 to fall to eight in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee won despite getting outrebounded by 17 (56-39) and outscored by 22 (52-30) in the paint.
"We play hard and tonight we got a defensive stop," Ellis said. "We had some shots go in and we rebounded when we needed to."
The Bucks knocked down seven 3-pointers and held a 35-25 advantage in bench scoring. J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy combined for 27 points in reserve roles.
O.J. Mayo scored 18 for Dallas, and Elton Brand had 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Vince Carter, one of Dallas' most consistent performers lately, was 0-8 from the floor, including 0 of 4 from beyond the arc. The Mavericks were 1 of 17 on 3-point attempts.
"We had too many guys with off nights tonight and that's a problem," Carlisle said.
The Mavericks have slipped to 11th in the Western Conference. The Lakers and Portland are between Dallas and the eighth-place Houston.
The Mavericks opened the game with an 11-0 run covering four minutes, hitting five of their first six shots. Brandon Jennings finally broke the dry spell with a one-handed runner and the Bucks were down just 21-17 going into the second period.
Redick knocked down a jumper early in the second giving Milwaukee its first lead at 25-24 lead. Behind a spark from reserve Brandan Wright, Dallas went back up 10 (41-31) before the Bucks reeled off 10 straight points.
Dallas took a 49-44 edge into the break. Collison had 11 points and Nowitzki had 11 boards. Redick and Dunleavy had nine points each.
Both teams complete back-to-backs Wednesday night. Dallas is at Memphis, while the Bucks travel to Houston.
NOTES: Nowitzki recorded his sixth career 20-point, 20-rebound game with 21 points and a season-high 20 rebounds. It was his first 20-20 game since April 3, 2003 against the Lakers (25 points and 22 rebounds). It was his seventh career game with at least 20 rebounds. ... Milwaukee suspended reserve center Samuel Dalembert for the game for a violating team policy. The Bucks didn't specify the nature of the violation, but Boylan said there have been repeated offenses. "It's more of a pattern, and it has reached the point where something needed to be done," he said. "We decided that this was the appropriate action to take." ... Trade-deadline acquisition Anthony Morrow played his first meaningful time with the Mavericks, checking in late in the first quarter. He played the last 3.9 seconds of Sunday's loss to the Lakers. ... Milwaukee's previous three losses going into Tuesday were each by three points or less, marking only the third time in franchise history that the Bucks have lost three consecutive games by one possession.