Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks put away the Denver Nuggets in 4th, win 122-106

DALLAS - Monta Ellis scored 26 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 21 and the Dallas Mavericks pulled away from the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of a 122-106 victory Friday night.

The Mavericks avoided a season sweep by the Nuggets, who ran away with a win in Denver two weeks ago to hand Dallas its longest losing streak at three games.

Dallas (42-28) got a boost in the playoff race when Miami rallied from seven down in the last 3 1/2 minutes to beat Memphis 91-86 Friday night. The Mavericks and Grizzlies (40-28) started the day in a virtual tie for the final two postseason spots in the Western Conference.

Vince Carter shook off a dislocated pinkie on his left hand in the first quarter to finish with 13.

J.J. Hickson led Denver with 18 points and eight rebounds before leaving with an apparent injury in the fourth quarter.

The 25-year-old Hickson went down along the baseline, got up and went straight to the locker room with 8:10 remaining in the game. Nuggets coach Brian Shaw said the sixth-year player would be evaluated Saturday.

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