Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points on a night he passed an NBA legend on the all-time scoring list, and the Dallas Mavericks downed the Washington Wizards, 105-95, at American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki leapt over the great Jerry West for 16th place among the league's top scorers and is 82 points shy of Reggie Miller's 25,279-point total.
"It's a monumental achievement to pass a player like that," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. "This has been a fantastic career that Dirk has had. We're going to do everything possible to extend it as long as possible."
The German sharpshooter had some help from his teammates in keeping the Mavs unbeaten in four games at home. Monta Ellis added 19 points and seven assists, Vince Carter scored 16 off the bench and Samuel Dalembert netted 15.
Trevor Ariza drained five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 27 points, but the Wizards still suffered their seventh straight loss to Dallas.
Washington wound up in front, 34-33, after a fast-paced opening quarter, and the Mavs ripped off a 16-2 run early in the second to seize control.
Ellis got a reverse layup to fall for a 49-38 Mavs lead near the midway point of the quarter, then hit two free throws in the closing seconds of the half to give Dallas a 61-49 cushion at the break.
Ariza's 14 third-quarter points helped cut Washington's deficit to 78-74, but a DeJuan Blair putback and consecutive Nowitzki 3-pointers pushed the margin back to double digits.
Dallas brought an 88-79 lead into the fourth, and whenever the Wizards pulled within striking distance, the Mavs had an answer.
Ellis poured in eight points on a 10-3 run after Washington cut its deficit to five. His jumper with under 5 1/2 minutes remaining gave Dallas a 99-87 advantage, and the closest it got from there was eight.
"We are not playing any defense," Wizards head coach Randy Wittman said. "Something needs to be done rotation-wise."