Nowitzki's 24 points matched the second-half output of the entire Sixers team, marking the lowest points in a half for the Sixers in the 16-year history of Wells Fargo Center.
Nowitzki also pulled down 12 rebounds and Vince Carter chipped in 10 points for the Mavericks, who were without Jason Terry (personal reasons) and Delonte West (broken right ring finger). Dallas has now won six straight contests.
"I thought the key to the game tonight was our defense and Dominique Jones filling in for our three missing guards was really the difference," remarked Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle. "We allowed 24 points in the second half. They missed some shots but our guys were into it and right now that's our identity as a team. We are a defense first team."
The Sixers bench did most of the heavy lifting as Nikola Vucevic led the way with 16 points, while Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams scored 14 and 12, respectively. Philadelphia has now dropped three straight at home for the first time since losing the final five home games of the 2009-10 campaign.
Trailing by 14, the Mavericks opened the second half on a 19-2 run, including 12 from Nowitzki, to give Dallas a 56-53 lead with 4:11 to play in the quarter.
Williams' jumper at the buzzer pulled the Sixers within two, 61-59, heading into the fourth as Philadelphia managed just eight points in the quarter, marking a season-low in any quarter for the Sixers.
After Vucevic tied the game at 63 with a layup, the Mavericks scored the next nine points, and Jason Kidd's triple gave Dallas a 72-63 lead with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game.
The Sixers would get as close as five after a Williams' layup with under two minutes to play, but Andre Iguodala missed a jumper and Nowitzki knocked down two more from the charity stripe as he scored the Mavericks final eight points to close out the game.
"That's a very, very good defensive team," said Sixers head coach Doug Collins about the Sixers shooting woes in the second half. "I thought we missed a lot of shots that we normally make. We couldn't get them to go. We just never could get anything offensively generated in the second half."
Philadelphia would answer an early 9-0 run from the Mavericks by reeling off a 17-8 spurt over the final 5 1/2 minutes of the first quarter to take a 27-21 advantage into the second stanza.
Vucevic scored six points in a 10-2 Philadelphia run to open the second, allowing the Sixers to press the lead to 37-23. The Sixers would maintain that 14-point cushion, taking a 51-37 lead into intermission.
The Mavericks will visit New York on Sunday, while the Sixers will begin a four-game road trip in Minnesota on Sunday...The Sixers have now lost 10 of the past 12 meetings with Dallas...Philadelphia was 1-of-14 from long range...The Mavericks managed a respectable 5-for-14 from beyond the arc.