Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Monta Ellis registered 26 points to help the Dallas Mavericks in a hard fought 135-131 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.
Chandler Parsons netted 22 points with six assists and Dirk Nowitzki chipped in with 18 points for the Mavs, who snapped a two-game losing skid and now lead the Thunder by four games while holding the seventh seed in the Western Conference.
"We all knew how important this game was," Parsons said. "We needed this win in a bad way."
Russell Westbrook, Enes Kanter and Anthony Morrow did all they could in the setback.
Westbrook secured his 10th triple-double of the season with 31 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, while Kanter poured in a career-high 30 points with 16 rebounds. Morrow fired in six 3-pointers en route to a season-high 32 points off the bench.
"It was a tough loss. We didn't get enough stops. We scored plenty of points to get the win on our home floor," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.
Oklahoma City leads New Orleans by 1 1/2 games in the race for the last playoff spot out west.
J.J. Barea and Amar'e Stoudemire each scored four points as part of a 10-0 run to begin the fourth quarter for Dallas to give it a 111-101 lead.
The Thunder regained the lead thanks to a 12-4 run that Morrow capped with a contested 3-pointer with 3:09 left in the game. He was fouled on the play, but a lane violation negated a four-point opportunity as Oklahoma City held a 124-121 edge.
Parsons converted a three-point play before making a layup that helped the Mavs to a 130-129 lead with 1 1/2 minutes left. It remained a one-point game when Parsons hit a tough turnaround jumper with 13 seconds left, then Westbrook got two looks at a 3-pointer after he hustled down his own rebound from the first miss, but his second attempt was off the mark. Ellis sealed the victory with a free throws in the final seconds.
Oklahoma City came firing out of the locker room to start the second half, with Kanter contributing six points during a 16-4 run to open the third quarter. Kyle Singler's 3-pointer capped the burst 3:13 into the period for a 79-70 Thunder lead.
The Mavs chipped away at their deficit late in the third, as Devin Harris knocked down a 3 to start an 8-0 run that briefly gave them a 94-92 lead. Westbrook scored nine points in the final 1:46, and the two teams entered the fourth tied at 101-101.
Kanter and Morrow can be credited for keeping the Thunder in the game throughout the first half. Dallas shot at a 50 percent clip in the first quarter and held the Thunder to 43.5 percent, but Kanter supplied 15 points and five rebounds in the frame. Barea closed the quarter with a pair of free throws to give the Mavs a 28-25 lead after 12 minutes.
Morrow then took over for Kanter in the second, scoring 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting -- including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Dallas shot 68.2 percent in the second and led by as many as eight. Morrow's trey at the buzzer cut Oklahoma City's deficit to 66-63 at halftime.
The Mavericks host Houston on Thursday to kick off a three-game homestand ... Oklahoma City visits Memphis on Friday before returning back home for three straight ... The Thunder have lost three of their last four ... Dallas finished 56-of-91 (61.5 percent) from the floor ... Tyson Chandler had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo added 10 points and 10 assists in the win ... The Mavs scored 19 points off 11 turnovers ... Dallas dominated the paint, outscoring the Thunder 72-46.