Nowitzki, Harris help Mavs top Pistons

Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith (6) finds an opening to the basket against Dallas Mavericks' Brandan Wright (34) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Detroit Pistons forward Josh Smith (6) finds an opening to the basket against Dallas Mavericks' Brandan Wright (34) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points, Devin Harris had a season-high 14 for the second straight game and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Detroit Pistons 116-106 Sunday night.

Nowitzki was 10 of 16 from the field in his second straight game wearing a sleeve on his sore left knee after sitting out a loss in Toronto. It’s not the knee that required surgery and sidelined him the first 27 games last season.

Harris scored five straight points in the final minute of the third quarter to break a 79-all tie. His 3-pointer early in the fourth capped a 15-2 run for a 94-81 Dallas lead.

Brandon Jennings had 26 points and seven assists to lead the Pistons, who lost their fourth straight. Josh Smith had 25 points and eight rebounds.

The Pistons got within five midway through the fourth, but Vince Carter hit a layup to start an 8-0 run as the Mavericks answered consecutive losses on an East Coast trip by winning the opener of a four-game homestand that includes a pair of two-day breaks.

Harris, who was playing just his fifth game since returning from offseason toe surgery, led Dallas with seven assists. Nowitzki added nine rebounds and four assists, while Jose Calderon scored 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

The Pistons opened the second half with a 12-2 run to get even at 58-all.

Jennings scored seven straight Detroit points, and Smith missed a dunk but was fouled by Sam Dalembert after a scramble for a loose ball that included Andre Drummond pushing Nowitzki to the floor. Smith made the first free throw for the tie but shot an air ball on the second.

Jennings scored 12 in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer that gave Detroit its first lead since late in the first quarter. Jennings’ go-ahead bucket triggered a stretch of four lead changes and four ties in the third.

The Mavericks made 10 of their first 12 shots, but had seven turnovers in the first 9 minutes.

DeJuan Blair’s layup finished an 8-0 run that gave Dallas its biggest lead of the first half at 49-37, but Detroit answered with seven straight points capped by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s layup after a bad pass from Nowitzki, one of 11 first-half turnovers for Dallas.

NOTES: Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said before the game he thinks Nowitzki will make the All-Star game as a reserve. His 11-year All-Star streak ended last season. All-Star reserves are announced Thursday. … Pistons C Andre Drummond had four points and six rebounds two nights after his first career game with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds against New Orleans. He had an 11-game streak of at least 11 rebounds snapped. … The Mavericks shot 61 percent in the first half despite going 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

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