New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dirk Nowitzki led six Mavericks in double figures with 21 points as Dallas held off the New Orleans Pelicans, 100-97, from New Orleans Arena.
Nowitzki split a pair of free throws with 32.3 seconds left to break a 97-97 tie and put Dallas in front. The Pelicans had two looks at the rim on the ensuing possession but may have passed themselves out of the game.
Jrue Holiday, the hero from a Dec. 2 triple overtime win over Chicago, gave up an open look which led to an Al-Farouq Aminu 20-footer, which was off the mark. Eric Gordon corralled the offensive rebound but was stuffed by Nowitzki, who came away with the board and made two free throws to result in the final margin.
Ryan Anderson's 3 in the final seconds missed long, and Jae Crowder grabbed the decisive rebound for the Mavs, who won their second straight.
Monta Ellis had 14 points and 10 assists in the victory, while Vince Carter dropped 15 off the bench. Jose Calderon and DeJuan Blair scored 12 points apiece.
"It feels good to get a huge win for us as a team, and we're happy to get through this back-to-back like this," Calderon said. "It was good, good enough."
Holiday paced the Pelicans with 26 points and nine assists while Aminu pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds to go with 16 points. Anderson also registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 boards.
"We had a chance at the end," said Aminu. "If the ball goes a different way, we may have won. It's a hard game after coming off the road, but I think we fought."
Shawn Marion knotted the score at 65 apiece with a jumper midway through the third before the Pelicans made a push. Holiday's trey capped an 8-0 surge as New Orleans built the largest game of the lead at 73-65, but Dallas regrouped out of a timeout and retied the score on Crowder's late dunk.
The see-saw affair continued into the final frame, as the Mavs opened the fourth quarter with eight straight before the hosts responded. Holiday's triple tied it with 6:48 remaining.
Neither team led by more than five points in an even first half that included 10 ties and five lead changes.
The Pelicans held a slim 53-52 lead at halftime.
Darius Miller made his season debut for New Orleans, notching just a minute of playing time ... The Pelicans had a three-game winning streak snapped ... Gordon scored 15 points for New Orleans ... Anderson shot 5-of-5 from the foul line to remain perfect on the season ... Dallas' bench outscored their counterparts, 31-10.