DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks are good at finishing. Now they must figure out how to get off to better starts.
Erick Dampier had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Mavericks, who've won six of seven and were playing their first game since rallying from a 29-point second-half deficit to beat Minnesota on Tuesday night in the greatest comeback in franchise history.
This time the Mavericks had to climb back from 12 points down in the third quarter.
"There wasn't a lot of energy in the building," said Nowitzki, who was 4-for-13 from the field in the first half. "We can't just go through the motions. I don't think we're good enough to do that. I think anybody can beat us if we're not playing with a little pep in our step."
With the game tied at 78, Terry hit a 17-footer to put Dallas ahead for good. Nowitzki followed with a three-point play and Terry converted a solo layup for an 85-78 advantage with 3:55 remaining.
Terry was 1-for-9 in the first half, prompting a fan to ask for more from the team's sixth man.
"I heard one guy behind the bench say, 'Jet, we're waiting on you. What are you doing?" Terry said. "I don't know what it was. But I started getting some good looks. Shooters keep shooting."
Nowitzki went 6-for-9 from the field in the fourth quarter and Dallas scored on 10 of its last 11 possessions. Philadelphia couldn't get closer than five the rest of the way in losing for the fifth time in six games.
"All it takes for me is to make a couple of shots to get my rhythm back," Nowitzki said. "I stayed aggressive and looked for my shot."
The Sixers were hampered down the stretch by inconsistent offensive execution while the Mavericks were making 11 of 15 shots in the fourth quarter.
Philadelphia expanded a four-point halftime lead to as many as 12 early in the third quarter.
Terry converted three 3-pointers in the first five minutes of the quarter to get Dallas within 58-51. The Mavericks narrowed the deficit to 66-64 entering the fourth quarter after Terry's 13-point third quarter.
"Terry hit those 3s and that got him going," 76ers coach Tony DiLeo said. "That was a little bit of a turning point. We had defensive lapses where we gave up easy shots."
Dallas got off to a 12-6 start with a 10-0 run behind Dampier's six points and six rebounds, but the Mavericks failed to score over the last 5:13 of the opening period.
Philadelphia ended the first quarter with 14 unanswered points for a 20-16 lead. Dallas missed its final seven field goal attempts of the opening quarter.
The 76ers were up at halftime 44-40, paced by 11 points each from Miller and Williams.
Dallas also had 40 first-half points against Minnesota, matching a season-low for a first half. ... F Elton Brand, the Sixers' top scorer and rebounder, missed his seventh straight game due to a dislocated right shoulder. Brand isn't expected back until mid-January. ... Dallas G Jose Juan Berea (strained left shoulder) was questionable for the game but came off the bench in the first quarter. ... Nowitzki, Howard and Terry combined to miss 17 of their first 22 field goal tries.