Nowitzki scored 13 of his 29 points in final quarter and Terry hit a running layup at the buzzer to lead the Mavericks to a 93-91 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
"That is something Ive worked on all summer long," Terry said. "You take one or two dribbles and float it up. It takes less than two seconds, so it was perfect."
Terry finished with 26 points for the Mavericks in their first game without the injured Josh Howard, who sprained his right ankle on Saturday against Memphis.
"Coming off a tough loss at home it was important that we came in here and got a win, no matter how we got it," Terry said. "Josh was out of the lineup. Stack [Jerry Stackhouse] has been out a while. We have to stick together. It was a team effort all around."
Nowitzki struggled in the first half, going 2-for-10 from the field after missing seven of his first eight shots.
"I was frustrated with my performance all night long," said Nowitzki, who also had 11 rebounds. "I had a couple great looks, but nothing seemed to fall and I couldn't really get involved in the game but my team stood behind me 100 percent."
Nowitzki hit two 3-pointers in the final two minutes. His first came with 1:42 left to cut Toronto's lead to 89-86. After the Raptors turned it over, Nowitzki hit another to tie the score at 89 with 53.6 seconds left as Dallas closed out the game on a 10-2 run.
"You cant forget about the MVP," said Terry, who had 11 points in the first quarter. "That's why hes the player he is. He relishes in those situations and we always want to get the ball to him. We told him, 'You got plenty of clips, keep shooting 'em.'"
"No matter how bad this hurts, you have to keep your head up," James said of the 1-14 Raptors.
Bonner had a chance with the score tied 89-89 and 35.9 seconds left with an open look from the arc but missed, and Nowitzki eventually grabbed the loose ball. The Mavs stormed down the floor, found Nowitzki close to the basket, who put up a light shot for
what appeared to be the winning basket with 18.4 seconds left.
However, Bonner put up a long jumper from the corner to tie it a 91 with two seconds left. Raptors coach Sam Mitchell had a brief argument with the officials that it should have been a 3, but replays clearly showed Bonner's foot touching the line.
"We lost the game with 1:21 [left in the game]," Mitchell said. "Forget the last play [at the buzzer], the game should have never come to that."
Raptors veteran Jalen Rose, who has struggled this season and is coming off a five-point performance in a loss in Golden State on Saturday, was removed from the starting lineup and didn't enter the
game until 6:52 into the first quarter. He finished with seven points and was on the bench for most of the fourth quarter.
"Everyone goes through slumps and I'm not different," Rose said. "I guess when youre a 1-13, 1-14 team, your rope is a little bit shorter."
The Mavs signed free-agent swingman Adrian Griffin on Monday. Griffin, who played for Dallas during 2001-03, was with the Chicago Bulls last season. Griffin was active Monday night but did not play. ... Howard, who was injured on Saturday against Memphis, had an MRI that revealed his moderately sprained right ankle.