DALLAS -- In this condensed, 66-game season, the Dallas Mavericks aren't too concerned about style wins.
They just want to get them any way they can.
The Mavs blew an 18-point third-quarter lead to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, then had to rally from a nine-point deficit to eke out a 101-100 win in overtime at American Airlines Center.
The victory enabled the Mavs (13-8) to move into sole possession of first place in the Southwest Division for the first time this season. But the Mavs, who were 0-3 to start this season, don't feel like they're holding down the pole position.
"You've got to be careful of watching the standings," said Jason Terry, who scored a season-high 34 points. "If you lose [tonight at Phoenix], you'll be back in eighth place.
"These games are coming fast and furious, and so if you watch the standings you're going to kill yourself. We just want to win the games that are before us and take care of our business."
The Mavs were cruising along with a 67-49 lead with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter and appeared to have this game well in hand. Then the tide turned.
And the Spurs' reserves were the ones who did the damage. Behind Gary Neal, Danny Green, Matt Bonner, Tiago Splitter and James Anderson, the Spurs used a 35-8 rally to assume an 84-75 lead with 5:33 remaining in the game.
But the Mavs fought back behind the superb shooting of Terry, who was 14 of 23 from the field. It was Terry's 16-footer with 0.5 seconds left that tied the game at 91-91 and forced overtime.
The Spurs, however, thought they had won the game when Green made an 18-footer at the buzzer from near the Mavs' bench. But replays showed that Green didn't get the shot off in time.
"Terry was great," coach Rick Carlisle said. "The shot at the end of regulation we were in transition, had a timeout and decided not to take it. And he hit a terrific shot."
Terry made another jumper to give the Mavs the lead for good at 99-98 with 41.6 seconds left in overtime. And after Shawn Marion stripped the ball from Neal, it was Terry who sank a pair of free throws for a 101-98 lead with 17.9 seconds to go.
Neal scored, was fouled by Marion, but missed the free throw that could have tied the game with 11.5 seconds remaining. From there, Ian Mahinmi misfired on two free throws for the Mavs, then Green clanked a 3-point shot off the side of the rim as time expired.
Finally, the Mavs could exhale.
"I'm ready to get to Phoenix and move on to the next one," Carlisle said. "The one thing that I'm not going to allow to happen is to have our team feel bad about a win. I've been around too long; wins are hard to get."
The Mavs welcomed the return of Dirk Nowitzki, who missed the previous four games with a sore right knee and conditioning issues. While Nowitzki struggled with his shooting -- he was only 5 of 14 from the field -- he grabbed 13 rebounds and scored 10 points and collected his second double-double of the season.
"I'm definitely moving better and it's definitely good to get the win," said Nowitzki, who played 38 minutes. "I think when someone comes off a little break you look how he's moving, and so that definitely was an improvement to before.
"But I've still got to keep working and it'll be back to normal soon. Thirteen rebounds, that was like two weeks before, so that's definitely a good sign, but I feel like I have a little more lift than when I left a week ago."
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760