Nowitzki, Mavs face off with Kings in Big D

Dallas has climbed out of an early season hole and will attempt to record its 15th straight home win over the Sacramento Kings tonight.

The reigning NBA champions have won six of seven since a dismal 1-4 start with the latest triumph coming Friday against Milwaukee when Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 points, surpassing 23,000 for his career, as the Mavericks cruised to a 102-76 win over the Andrew Bogut-less Bucks.

Nowitzki entered Friday needing just three points to reach the milestone and did so with a second-quarter free throw, becoming just the 23rd player in NBA history and the third active player (Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett) to hit 23,000.

"Milestones are going to be great when I look back on my career in 10 or 15 years," Nowitzki said. "But as of right now, I'm trying to help this team, and franchise, win as many games as I can."

Jason Terry scored 17 and Vince Carter had a season-high 16, leading the Mavericks to their fourth straight win.

Bogut suffered a concussion in Thursday's win over the Pistons. It was just his second game back after missing four straight games -- all Milwaukee losses -- while dealing with a personal matter.

"On defense we're doing a good job of holding each other accountable and we feel like we can always do better of not letting the other team get in a flow," said Carter.

The Kings, meanwhile, fell to 1-1 on a five-game road trip in Houston on Friday, suffering a 103-89 defeat at the hands of the Rockets. Tyreke Evans scored a game-high 27 points in that one for the Kings, who fell to 4-8 on the season.

DeMarcus Cousins, who said his was under the weather, had just four points and four rebounds to snap his four-game double-double streak. Rookie Isaiah Thomas had 13 points and Donte Greene finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.

"We just didn't make our open shots. They beat us up badly on the boards and they were making their shots," Kings forward J.J. Hickson said.

Overall the Mavs have won nine straight over Sacramento.