DALLAS -- Last season when Deron Williams led the Brooklyn Nets to a victory at the American Airlines Center, located about 15 minutes from where he grew up, he said the arena was one of his favorites in the league.
Williams left little doubt about how much he liked the Arena on Wednesday night. During the Nets' lone visit this season to the Metroplex, he poured in 31 points, 26 in the second half and 13 in the fourth quarter, lifting the Brooklyn Nets to a 113-96 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Brooklyn (40-28) climbed out of a 10-point deficit after the first quarter and opened 10-point leads of its own in the third and fourth quarters before taking total control late.
Dallas (32-36) trimmed an 85-77 deficit to start the fourth to 85-81, but Williams was too tough. He scored 10 of his 13 fourth-quarter points by hitting five of his first seven shots in the opening 5:32 of the final period. Joe Johnson's 3-pointer with 2:51 to play put the Nets ahead 106-96.
"It was a great win," Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "That's a very good team. It's a very tough building to play in. we had so many guys do a good job. I can' say we defended them, but we slowed them down a little bit, which is all you can do."
Before Williams, who also had six assists, heated up in the second half, Brooklyn headed into halftime tied at 51-51 thanks to its big frontline of Brook Lopez, Andray Blatche and rebounding machine Reggie Evans.
Lopez scored 18 of his game-high 38 points -- matching his total in last season's game in Dallas -- in the first half. Blatche came off the bench and hit his first six shots and scored all 14 of his points. Evans grabbed 17 of his 22 rebounds in the opening 24 minutes.
"First off, I didn't have to do anything the way Blatche and Brook had it going (in the first half)," Williams said. "I was just kind of sitting back and getting the ball down low in the post.
"For whatever reason I started hitting a couple of shots and started to feel it. I just tried to keep it going."
By late in the third quarter Brooklyn flipped their 10-point deficit after the first quarter into a 10-point lead, 85-77 and were looking for more before a Lopez turnover gave the Mavs an easy two as time expired.
The win was the Nets' second of a grueling eight-game road swing that heads West for the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. Brooklyn has its sights set on the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, Dallas dropped its opener of a season-long six-game home stand and further damaged its dwindling playoff chances.
"(Williams) wasn't even their leading scorer," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who was one of three Mavs officials to meet with Williams in New York last July when the free agency period opened. "Lopez had another big game here. At the point position, at the five position, they had a great game.
"They had two guys that had great games and we didn't do a good job there. It's a bad result for us. The irony is I think this is the same amount of points we gave up the other night in Atlanta, but we scored 127 points, so it all seemed like it was OK."
Mavs led 32-22 after the first quarter, but a 12-4 run by the Nets to start the second got them back in it quickly and they couldn't keep the Nets from scoring.
"We really got anything we wanted, but we just couldn't get any stops," said Mavs guard O.J. Mayo, who had nine points and six assists. "They did a lot of isolations in the fourth quarter and got whatever they wanted.
Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting, Chris Kaman had 14 and Mike James finished with 13.
Nets guards Keith Bogans and Joe Johnson were Brooklyn's next high scorers after the Lopez, Williams, Blatche trio with nine points each.
NOTES: With his fourth rebound, Nowitzki became the 10th player in NBA history to record 24,000 points and 9,000 rebounds. That group includes Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Moses Malone, Karl Malone, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing and Kevin Garnett. ... Mavs forward Shawn Marion missed his eighth consecutive game with a calf strain. He said he might be ready to play Friday against Boston. ... Dallas had won six of the last seven meetings with the Nets, including a 98-90 victory on March 1 in its only trip of the season to the Nets' new home at the Barclays Center. ... Bogans returned after missing Monday's win at Detroit with a sore left ankle. ... The Nets won their their 18th road game of the season, the most since the 2005-06 season. ... Carlesimo ran his record to 26-14, breaking a tie with Lawrence Frank for the best start in franchise history.