WASHINGTON -- Dirk Nowitzki is the 13th-leading scorer in NBA history. On Wednesday night, in his words, he was reduced to "an expensive decoy." Nowitzki was held to a season-low nine points, and missed 11 of 14 shots from the field, but the Dallas Mavericks still beat the Washington Wizards 87-78. Monta Ellis scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Vince Carter had 13 as the Mavericks won despite equaling their season low in points. "It was an ugly game. I think we set the NBA back a couple years today," Nowitzki said. He rolled his left ankle in the games first minute, for "probably the 200th time in my career," Nowitzki said. "It was obvious that I wasnt moving well. I didnt get any elevation on my jumper." The key to the game was Dallas holding Washington scoreless for more than 4 minutes late in the game. The Wizards led 74-70 with 4:58 to play, but the Mavericks scored nine straight points on a 3-pointer by Carter, a hook shoot by Brandan Wright, two free throws by Carter and a jumper by Ellis to give Dallas a 79-74 lead with 2:14 to play. Washington didnt score again until John Wall, who led the Wizards with 22 points, made two free throws with 46 seconds to play. The Mavericks won despite shooting just 38.5 per cent, but they held Washington to 37.5 per cent. "It was a beautiful game," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle laughed. "It was such a competitive game, up and down the stretch, whoever won was going to be the survivor." Trevor Booker had 10 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for Washington. "We wasted a good defensive effort," coach Randy Wittman said. It was Dallas fourth straight win on the road and their eighth straight over the Wizards (14-15), who failed in their attempt to rise above .500 for the first time since Oct. 31, 2009. It was the second time this season Washington failed to get over the .500 mark. "Its a great opportunity in front of us, and we continue to get there and we just lay an egg in the next game," Wizards guard Bradley Beal said. Beal, who shot 4 for 13, was pleased that Washington thwarted Nowitzki. "Whenever you can hold a great scorer like that down to a minimum, you always love your chances," Beal said. Ellis, who signed with the Mavericks as a free agent last summer, was a career 77 per cent free throw shooter. This season, hes boosted his percentage to 83, and on Wednesday made 9 of 10. "I thought tonight was Monta Ellis best game with us. He had such great command of the game offensively. He was under control, he was finding people," Carlisle said. Ellis hit all six of his free throws in the fourth quarter. "I want to get better, for that opportunity down the stretch to make those free throws, because I know theyre going to put the ball in my hands," Ellis said. In its last game, Dallas escaped with a win at Minnesota on Monday. On Tuesday, the NBA released a statement saying that the Timberwolves Kevin Love should have been awarded two free throws late in a two-point Mavericks win. Shawn Marion should have been assessed a foul, the NBA said. The Mavericks finished the first quarter Wednesday on a 15-5 run to take a 25-20 lead. Washington went on a 9-0 run to take a 36-35 lead with 3:48 to play in the first half. The Wizards led 42-39 at halftime. The Wizards led through nearly the entire third quarter, surrendering the lead briefly on a 9-0 Dallas run, but led 61-59 after three. Wall, who had seven rebounds and five assists, but tied a season high with seven turnovers, left the court with about 3 minutes to play in the first quarter. His left eye was cut and after the game he continued to wear a bandage. Wall said he was elbowed in the eye in a scrum, but wasnt sure who hit him. "I just know there was four of us down there," Wall said. NOTES: Carlisle declined comment on the NBAs statement about Mondays game. ... Washington swingman Glen Rice, who had surgery on his right wrist last month, had the sutures removed from it Tuesday, Wittman said. ... This was the second consecutive year the Mavericks and Wizards played on New Years Day in Washington. Discount Air Max . There are some early surprises in the race for the Hart Trophy, but two of the contenders are the leagues biggest stars over the past decade. There are many more players in contention for the awards than just the three that Ive named, and a good or bad week can easily alter the landscape, but through the first 20 or so games of the NHL season, this is how the awards races look to me. 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Gustafsson controlled the first round after getting top position on a throw, and came out much more forcefully in the second, buckling Manuwa with a Muay Thai knee, and finishing him off with strikes on the ground.SAITAMA, Japan -- Canadas Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won a pairs bronze medal at the world figure skating championships Thursday while Mao Asada of Japan set a world record to finish first in the womens short program. Duhamel, from Lively, Ont., and Radford, from Balmertown, Ont., were third with 210.84 points. Teammates Kirsten Moore-Towers of St. Catharines, Ont., and Dylan Moscovitch of Toronto were fourth. Duhamel and Radford, who were seventh at the Sochi Olympics, also won bronze at last years world championships in London, Ont. "In some ways I think that this bronze medal feels even better than the last one," Radford said. "This season was just a lot more difficult and we had a lot more downs than we did last season. Especially after the Olympics, with our sort of disappointing result, we had to really pull ourselves together and to shift our point of view to just go out here and do it for ourselves. "And then to go out there and to actually do it and be back on the podium, its a huge thing for us. We are just so proud of ourselves." Germanys Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy won the gold, claiming their fifth title in the event they have dominated since 2008. Skating to Chopins Nocturne, Asada hit her trademark triple Axel at the start of her routine and completed all her remaining jumps to finish with 78.66 points, surpassing the previous record of 78.50 set by Yuna Kim at the Vancouver Olympics. "As the last competition of this season, I am happy to skate the best short program," said Asada, a two-time world champion. "My mission here is to perform both programs perfect so already half is done and tomorrow I want to focus on showing everything I have practised." Carolina Kostner of Italy was second with 77.24 points followed by Julia Lipnitskaia of Russia, who had 74.54 points. Kim, the defending champion, has retired and Olympic gold medallist Adelina Sotnikova of Russia isnt competing at the worlds. Kaetlyn Osmond of Marystown, N.L., was eighth and Gabrielle Daleman of Newmarket, Ont., was 14th. Skating to music from the "Alice in Wonderland" soundtrack, Duhamel fell on a triple Salchow in what was supposed to be a three-jump combination for the Canadian pairs team. It was an otherwise clean performance. &"When you make a mistake as a figure skater, you need to put that mistake behind you as quickly as possible and continue skating as if you were skating cleanly.ddddddddddddAnd weve been able to do that before, but at the Olympics after we made one mistake, things started to unravel a little bit," Duhamel said. "So we were really aware, as soon as I fell, that was not going to take away from our performance, that we were still going to go strong right until the end." Savchenko and Szolkowy were solid on all their elements in their program to "The Nutcracker," and earned 224.88 points to beat Russias Olympic silver medallists Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov, who had 215.92 points. "A fifth title is quite amazing," Szolkowy said. "We did and very good performance yesterday and were very good today." Savchenko and Szolkowy, who won the Olympic bronze in 2010 and 2014, have been together since August of 2003 and will split up after the world championships. "I can hardly believe it is over now. It feels very strange," Savchenko said. "To be honest, it felt like I was skating in an exhibition gala." Duhamel and Radford, in only their fourth year together, will continue competing next season. "I think that we have just learned a lot about where skating fits into our lives and the way that we approach our competitions. We spent the beginning of the season trying so hard to get every other point, and to really please the judges," Radford said. "Weve realized that if we go out and just skate the way that we want, we tend to skate better and we get better points. "Knowing that, we will take a very different approach going into next season. I think we will have a lot more streamlined programs, maybe a little bit simpler, just to create as much flow as possible and in turn we will perform more relaxed." Paige Lawrence of Kennedy, Sask., and Rudi Swiegers of Kipling, Sask., were 12th overall out of 16 pairs. In womens singles, Osmond pulled off all three of triple flip, triple toe and triple Lutz in the short program for the first time in competition. "I was really excited with the program," said Osmond. "It meant a lot to me to be able to do that here at worlds." ' ' '