dirk nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki is coming along gradually. Maybe the Dallas Mavericks are, too.

Nowitzki scored 17 points and was one of three Dallas starters who didn’t miss from 3-point range, and Shawn Marion had a season-high 20 to lead the Mavericks to consecutive wins for the first time in a month with a 104-83 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

The Mavericks, three days removed from dropping 10 games under .500 for the first time in 13 years, beat a team with a winning record for just the fourth time this season. They did it soundly, too, taking their first 30-point lead of the season and coasting through the fourth quarter.

”It’s the kind of game we need,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. ”We need more of these, but they’re hard to come by.”

The Grizzlies were ragged a night after a big overtime win against Southwest Division-leading San Antonio. Memphis shot 38 percent and Rudy Gay was the only starter in double figures, in part because all five of them sat out the entire fourth quarter. Gay led the Grizzlies with 12 points…

All five starters scored in double figures for Dallas, with Chris Kaman stringing together eight straight in the third quarter and finishing with 14. O.J. Mayo had 11 and Darren Collison 10.

The Mavericks were 11 of 17 from 3-point range, and the starters made eight of nine. Nowitzki hit three, Mayo two and Collison had one. Marion was the only starter to miss, going 2 of 3…

Randolph, who entered the game leading the NBA with 24 double-doubles, had six points and four rebounds.

– Reported by Schuyler Dixon of the Associated Press