DALLAS (AP) _ Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 31 points to lead Dallas over Los Angeles in DeAndre Jordan’s first visit since backing out on an agreement to sign with the Mavericks in free agency.

A tight second half upstaged the sideshow of the return of Jordan, who was booed throughout before coach Doc Rivers pulled him in the fourth quarter with Dallas successfully using the hack-a-Jordan tactic against one of the NBA’s worst free throw shooters.

Zaza Pachulia, the consolation prize at centre after Dallas missed out on Jordan, made two free throws to put Dallas ahead for good at 108-106.

As Dallas pulled away in the final minute, the crowd chanted a derogatory phrase at Jordan, who had nine points and 11 rebounds with a minus-23 scoring margin while he was in the game.

Wesley Matthews, the free agent who kept his pledge to Dallas, also had a season high with 25 points.

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 21 points.

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