DALLAS -- Forward Dirk Nowitzki shook off a cold-shooting first half to carry the slumping Dallas Mavericks to a 89-82 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.
Charlotte not only blew a 12-point lead with a 15-point fourth quarter, but it suffered a big loss when forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left the game in the third quarter with a broken left hand. A strong wing defender, Kidd-Gilchrist was averaging 9.3 points and 5.4 rebounds.
He is the fourth NBA player to sustain a broken hand in recent days, joining the Los Angeles Clippers' J.J. Redick, the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis and the Brooklyn Nets' Paul Pierce.
The Bobcats (8-11) led for much of the second half, but Nowitzki proved too much for Charlotte to handle. He scored 25 points, 21 in the second half and 14 in the fourth quarter after shooting 1-for-10 in the first half.
Shooting guard Monta Ellis, who finished with 22 points, including 10 of the final quarter, sealed the victory that snapped Dallas' two-game skid. The Mavs (11-8) lost four of their previous five games.
The Bobcats, who suffered a one-point loss to the Heat in Miami on Sunday, made five of their first six shots to start the third quarter Tuesday. The fifth, an and-1 layup by guard Gerald Henderson, put Charlotte ahead 54-42 with 9:01 to go in the third quarter. The Bobcats led 67-60 after three quarters.
However, poor execution late, combined with Nowitzki and Ellis' improved shooting, doomed the Bobcats, who fell to 4-5 on the road.
Bobcats center Al Jefferson, rounding into form now that he is back from ankle issues, put Dallas in early foul trouble. Mavericks starting center Samuel Dalembert and backup DeJuan Blair both picked up two quick fouls and then a third before halftime, helping to send Jefferson, who finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, to the free-throw line seven times in the first half.
Charlotte started the game 3-for-15 from the floor, but the Bobcats finally got the hot hand late in the second quarter. With Dallas mired in equally poor cold shooting, Charlotte held a 42-39 lead at halftime.
The Bobcats were just 14-for-39 from the floor, and 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, in the first half. The Mavs led by seven points in the second quarter but couldn't build on it because they finished the first half a woeful 13-for-42 from the floor. Starting point guard Jose Calderon's 3-for-3 shooting from beyond the arc saved them from being down by more than three at the half. Calderon wound up 4-for-5 on 3-pointers for 12 points, but he shot 0-for-5 inside the arc.
Dallas wound up shooting 40.2 percent from the field, while Charlotte made 38.5 percent of its shots.
NOTES: Mavs PG Jose Calderon returned to the starting lineup after missing one game with a bone bruise on his right ankle. ... Mavs PG Devin Harris practiced Monday for the first time since undergoing offseason toe surgery. Harris said he is uncertain when he will make his season debut, but that he is targeting some time prior to Christmas. ... The Bobcats are 0-10 all-time at Dallas and 1-17 in the overall series. They earned their first victory over the Mavericks last season at Charlotte. ... The Bobcats were playing their 13th game in 23 days, a stretch first-year coach Steve Clifford said wore on the team. "I know that 13 in 23, I'm tired. Our guys have done a good job," he said.