DALLAS (AP) Monta Ellis scored 17 points in his return to Dallas, Paul George had 18 of his 20 in the second half and the Indiana Pacers extended the Mavericks’ longest losing streak of the season to five games with a 112-105 victory Saturday.
Ellis got a warm greeting in his first visit since the end of last season, when he was the first leading scorer not named Dirk Nowitzki for Dallas since 2000. He signed with Indiana as a free agent.
George Hill hit three 3-pointers and scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help keep the Pacers in front in their third straight victory.
Nowitzki scored 30 points to lead the Mavericks, who are three games into a nine-game stretch of opponents currently with winning records.
The Pacers stayed ahead in the fourth quarter thanks to Hill, a couple of key assists and a three-point play from Ellis and another strong game at the free-throw line.
Indiana made its first 26 free throws before Hill missed in the final seconds. The Pacers were 27 of 29 and have made 74 of 79 during their past three games.
George, who missed all four of his 3-pointers in the first half, made one to give Indiana its biggest lead at 83-72 late in the third quarter. He had 10 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season and added six assists.
Nowitzki got Dallas close in the fourth by scoring his team’s first eight points and getting 15 overall in the quarter for his fifth 30-point game of the season. He was 10 of 16 from the field, including 3 of 5 from long range.
But the Mavericks never could retake the lead despite getting within a point twice. They have a two-game trip to Charlotte and Cleveland coming, and then a home game against Golden State. Dallas (33-33), which dropped to .500 for the first time since Nov. 13, doesn’t see a team currently with a losing record again until Sacramento on March 27.
Each time the Mavericks Dallas got within a point in the fourth quarter, Hill had an answer. He hit two free throws, then had the first of consecutive 3-pointers. Ellis had two of his seven assists on the next two baskets before his three-point play on a drive pushed the lead to 106-99 with 2:28 remaining.
Pacers: Rookie lottery pick Myles Turner had 15 points and seven rebounds in the former Dallas-area high school star’s first trip close to home. … Indiana had seven players in double figures. The others were Jordan Hill with 11 and Rodney Stuckey and former Mav Ian Mahinmi with 10 apiece.
Mavericks: David Lee had eight points and seven rebounds in his first 8 minutes off the bench and finished with 10 points and 12 boards. … Wesley Matthews had 15 points, five rebounds and six assists. … Deron Williams had 13 points and a game-high eight assists.
Pacers: At Atlanta on Sunday.
Mavericks: At Charlotte on Monday.
The story has been corrected to show Paul George has 14 double-doubles, not 13.