National Basketball Association
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks probably didn't expect much of a fight from the NBA's worst team, but they got one.
If it wasn't for a fourth-quarter surge, the Mavs likely wouldn't have escaped American Airlines Center with Friday night's 105-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Dallas went on a 22-8 run to open the final period and pulled away for its fourth straight victory, tying a season high.
"Well, we struggled because they were playing well and they were playing harder than us, I thought," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "At halftime we talked about it and I thought we had a better second half."
The Mavericks (28-36) hope to finish off a perfect five-game homestand Saturday against Phoenix. Dallas has also won six of its last seven and is 17-9 since mid-January. The Mavs remain 1.5 games behind Denver (30-35) for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Harrison Barnes led four Mavericks in double figures with 21 points. Seth Curry scored 18 and Yogi Ferrell had 17 against his former team. Dirk Nowitzki, one game removed from surpassing 30,000 career points, overcame a 0-5 shooting start to score 13.
Dallas outrebounded the visitors 47-35, with backups Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell combining to pull down 17 boards for the Mavs.
"Brooklyn is a good team, their record may not show it, but they play hard and that's always dangerous when guys are going as hard as they can the whole game," Powell said. "They came out and hit us in the mouth a little bit, but bounced back."
Brooklyn (11-53) concluded its annual "Circus Trip" with a 2-6 mark. The Nets, who were without leading scorer Brook Lopez, led for most of the first three quarters and took a brief 75-74 advantage with the first bucket of the fourth.
"I'm happy that we come and show up to anywhere, on the road, at home, whatever," Jeremy Lin said. "I really think we have the expectation that we are going to win or that we are going to be in the game. There is no replacement for that. You have to expect big things from yourself, you have to believe in yourself. I feel like this team is starting to figure it out."
Isaiah Whitehead paced the Nets with a career-high 24 points off the bench. Lin scored 18, Trevor Booker had 15 points and Quincy Acy added 12.
The Mavs weren't nearly as sharp early, especially Nowitzki, as they were Tuesday in routing the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets took advantage of Dallas' struggles and took as much as a nine-point lead in the second quarter.
The Mavericks would lead briefly late in the quarter, but Brooklyn regrouped to take a 49-46 edge into the locker room. Lin had 12 points at the break and Whitehead scored nine.
"I thought our guys came out with a ton of energy," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "They really competed. We were in the game. It's a five-point game in the fourth quarter. We're right there on the road, so I'm proud of them."
The Nets return home Sunday to face the crosstown New York Knicks in Brooklyn's first game at Barclays Center since Feb. 15.
NOTES: Mavs PG Yogi Ferrell began the season with Brooklyn but was cut in December. What did Dallas see in Ferrell, who was signed to a two-year contact? "Well, he had a pulse and he was a point guard," coach Rick Carlisle deadpanned. ... Mavs C Nerlens Noel (knee soreness) was out, but could be available Saturday against Phoenix. ... Nets C Brook Lopez (ankle) missed his first game of the season. ... Dallas G J.J. Barea, back after missing the last 20 games with a calf injury, played in his 485th career game with the Mavs, which is 10th most in franchise history. ... The newest two Mavs -- G Manny Harris and F Jarrod Uthoff -- were active after signing 10-day contracts Thursday.
Top Game Performances
Isaiah Whitehead 24
Harrison Barnes 21
Sean Kilpatrick 5
Seth Curry 4
Trevor Booker 7
Salah Mejri 9
Jeremy Lin 9
||Free Throws Made
Harrison Barnes 5
Spencer Dinwiddie 2
Wesley Matthews 2
Spencer Dinwiddie 1
Team Stats Summary
Dallas will play their next game at home against Phoenix. The Mavericks have a W/L % of .481 after a win and .405 after a loss.
Brooklyn will play their next game at home against New York. The Nets have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .208 after a loss.