The reigning champion Dallas Mavericks survived a late rally by the league-worst Charlotte Bobcats to record their first back-to-back wins in nearly a month with a 101-96 victory on Thursday.
Charlotte (6-36) went on an early run and built a 14-point lead in the second quarter, before the Mavericks pushed back to narrow the deficit to six points at halftime scoring the final seven points of the second quarter.
The Mavericks (25-20) carried the momentum into the third, led by Dirk Nowitzki, who hit consecutive three-point baskets to give them a 65-62 lead which they extended to a 17-point advantage with four minutes left in the game.
Charlotte regained their shooting touch and rallied to within three points with only 20 seconds left, but Nowitzki hit two free throws to finally put the game out reach.
Nowitzki finished with 27 points to lead Dallas, who have never lost to the Bobcats.
Jason Terry added 18 off the bench, while Corey Maggette led the Bobcats with 21 points, Tyrus Thomas adding 14.
(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Alastair Himmer. To query or comment on this story email [email protected])