DALLAS – Caron Butler matched his season high with 23 points, Dirk Nowitzki scored 12 of his 21 in the fourth quarter and the Dallas Mavericks got back on track with a 103-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.
Jason Terry added 13 points for the Mavericks, whose 12-game winning streak was snapped by the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday night.
Dallas-area native LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 of his season-high 35 points in the fourth quarter and Wesley Matthews added 17 for the Blazers, who lost their third in a row.
Portland rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit, tying it at 93 with 2:07 left on Aldridge's reverse layup. But Nowitzki hit a 6-footer with 1:49 remaining to give Dallas the lead for good. He scored six points during an 8-2 run capped by his 19-footer with 29.9 seconds left for a 101-95 lead.
Terry converted two free throws with 12.7 seconds remaining for the final margin.
The Mavericks wasted 25- and 20-point leads in their previous two games, rallying to beat Utah before losing to a Milwaukee team that was last in the NBA in scoring but put up 60 second-half points against Dallas.
This time, Dallas was up 63-46 in the third quarter on Jason Kidd's 3-pointer.
But the Blazers responded with an 11-0 run and trimmed the Mavericks' lead to 78-68 by the start of the fourth.
Butler carried the offensive load with nine straight points for his team during one third-quarter stretch and scored a total of 11 in the quarter. Meanwhile, Matthews had 13 third-quarter points for Portland.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wasn't happy with his team's second-half defensive effort against the Bucks, and it was a particular point of emphasis heading into Wednesday night's game.
Portland, whose field goal percentage of .430 was third-lowest in the league at the start of the night, went 42 for 85 from the field (49.4 percent).
The Trail Blazers started the night tied for second in the league in offensive rebounds, and they had six in the first quarter.
Dallas carried a 17-14 lead into the second quarter despite six turnovers in the opening 12 minutes.
The game was tied at 32 before the Mavs ended the second with a 19-7 spurt in a 5:46 span for a 51-39 edge at the break. Kidd hit a pair of 3-pointers during the second-quarter run.
Notes: Portland C Joel Przybilla was assessed a technical in the second quarter when he fouled J.J. Barea on a drive, hitting Barea in the head. Barea wasn't injured on the play. ... Dallas has won 20 of the last 25 meetings between the teams. ... Portland won twice in Dallas last season, with Andre Miller scoring a career-high 52 points on Jan. 30. Miller had nine points Wednesday night. ... Portland's 14 first-quarter points were the low for an opening quarter by the Blazers, and by a Mavs opponent this season.