DALLAS, Feb. 23 (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks are a different team with Raef LaFrentz and Nick Van Exel. The Sacramento Kings are a different team on the road.

LaFrentz and Van Exel made successful debuts with their new team and Steve Nash led a second-half comeback as the Mavericks defeated the Kings, 111-97.

Van Exel and LaFrentz were acquired Thursday in a seven-player deal with the Denver Nuggets. They combine to average 35 points per game and eventually will make the NBA's best offensive team even more dangerous.

Van Exel and LaFrentz were acquired Thursday in a seven-player deal with the Denver Nuggets. They combine to average 35 points per game and eventually will make the NBA's best offensive team even more dangerous.

NBA TV highlights from Kings-Mavericks: 56k | 300k

Steve Nash came alive in the third quarter, scoring 15 straight for Dallas to put the game away.
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"They've got that many more weapons to go to," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "It was a good trade for them."

Although both players started with the Nuggets, they came off the bench Saturday, entering to an ovation with 2:29 left in the first period. Both figure to move into the starting lineup before long.

"The new guys fit in as well as they could with one day of practice," Mavericks coach Don Nelson said. "They were able to play and fit into our system."

LaFrentz overcame an early airball to collect 14 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes. Van Exel played 30 minutes, totaling eight points and eight assists.

"Coach called my name and put me in the game and up to that point I was awful nervous," LaFrentz said. "I got in the game and settled down a little bit and got that first airball out of the way. It's great to be a part of this team."

"I was so nervous today," Van Exel said. "I didn't expect to be in a game of this magnitude this year. I was real nervous and finally glad that I settled into the game."

Nash, an All-Star point guard, took over in the third quarter, scoring 15 straight Dallas points. The last six of those gave the Mavericks a 66-64 lead and started a 13-0 surge.

Nash scored 28 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 26 and 21 rebounds and Michael Finley had 15 points for Dallas, which won the showdown of division leaders and moved within 1 1/2 games of Sacramento for the best record in the Western Conference.

"I think they are going to make us a better team," Nash said. "We can really spread the floor and give a lot of different looks and I think we have a really high talent level."

"We like our team," Nelson said. "Now it is just (focusing on) getting better and better and gearing up for the playoffs."

Chris Webber had 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings, who fell to 12-13 on the road. They are 28-2 at home, with one of the losses to the Mavs.

"We have to be more consistent," Adelman said. "We are not defending the way we need to on the road. We can win on the road. We've won here, we've won in San Antonio, we've won in a lot of places. But it's obvious that we haven't been as consistent as we need to be on the defensive end, and that is what is hurting us more than anything else."

In addition to LaFrentz and Van Exel, Tariq Abdul-Wahad and Avery Johnson -- the other two players acquired from Denver -- also got to play. Abdul-Wahad came on in the second quarter and played six minutes. Johnson was inserted with three minutes to play and received a standing ovation.

"It really made me feel good," said Johnson, who now has played with all three Texas teams. "I just think they respect people that's about integrity and consistency and people that are winners."

The Kings widened a four-point halftime lead to 58-51 before Nash took over. He made three 3-pointers to pull the Mavs within 63-60 with 6:40 left in the third quarter. After a free throw by Webber, he scored six more points to give Dallas the lead for good.

"At first I just got a couple open looks and knocked them down," Nash said. "Then I got my confidence going and I might have been a little more conscious (of the points streak) after that."

On the next possession, Van Exel found LaFrentz for a 3-pointer. He then set up Nowitzki and Johnny Newman for jumpers, extending the lead to 73-64 with 1:36 to go.

The Kings trailed 77-67 entering the fourth quarter and got no closer than seven points thereafter. Doug Christie's 3-pointer made it 79-72, but Van Exel answered with two free throws and a jumper.

A three-point play by Nash made it 91-78 with 7:08 left. Finley had two 3-pointers around a dunk by LaFrentz, widening the bulge to 101-86 with 3 1/2 minutes to play.

Nowitzki had his second straight 20-20 game. He had 33 points and 23 rebounds in Thursday's win over Boston.

After a sluggish start, Dallas shot 51 percent (41-of-81) from the field, including 12-of-24 from the arc. Six different players made 3-pointers for the Mavs, including Nash's 4-of-4.

Peja Stojakovic scored 16 points and Christie, Mike Bibby and Bobby Jackson added 13 apiece for the Kings, who shot just 40 percent (37-of-92). Stojakovic made just 5-of-16 shots.

"Johnny Newman did a great job on Stojakovic," Nelson said. "He made it difficult for him and he was a big reason why we won."

There was plenty of energy in the American Airlines Center as the fans anticipated the debuts of LaFrentz and Van Exel. But the first quarter belonged to Webber, who scored 14 points as the Kings grabbed a 25-24 lead.

After an early turnover, Van Exel had a layup in the final minute of the opening period. LaFrentz had a follow shot one minute into the second quarter, which ended with Sacramento holding a 52-48 lead.