Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Rick Carlisle questioned his team's collective soul following a loss to the Suns on Sunday.
Monta Ellis apparently took his coach's jab to heart, pouring in 38 points on 16-of-27 shooting to help the Dallas Mavericks erase an early double-digit deficit and earn a 101-94 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
"Total team effort," said Ellis. "Everybody was juiced up and came out playing."
Ellis shot a combined 7-of-31 (22.3 percent) in losses to Memphis and Phoenix over the weekend.
Dirk Nowitzki totaled 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Chandler Parsons added 15 points against the Southwest Division rivals.
Kawhi Leonard paced the Spurs with 19 points while Danny Green scored 17 for the Spurs, who had won three in a row and 10 of 12 coming in.
"We started out well, but after that it was the Mr. Ellis show," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "We didn't contain him and he went off. That was really the ball game."
San Antonio raced out to a 14-point lead late in the opening frame, only to see the Mavs pull within three, 46-43, by intermission.
An 8-0 Dallas run early in the third quarter, followed by a 10-0 spurt late in the frame turned the tide for good. Devin Harris scored five points during the latter surge, and his bucket inside the final minute gave Dallas a 76-66 lead entering the fourth.
Nowitzki made a 3-pointer early in the final quarter during a string of seven straight Dallas points, stretching the difference to 17, and with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker resting on the bench the entire fourth frame, the Spurs did not have enough firepower to mount a comeback.
The Mavs lead the season series 2-1 ... The Spurs open a three-game homestand Wednesday against the Thunder. They host the Mavericks again on Friday and Memphis on Sunday to end the tough stretch ... Dallas scored 24 fastbreak points to San Antonio's 15.