PHOENIX, May 11 (Ticker) -- While his good friend and ex-teammate Steve Nash has the hardware, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks have home-court advantage.

Nowitzki finished a 23-point effort with a turnaround jumper in the closing seconds, lifting the Dallas Mavericks to a 108-106 victory over the Phoenix Suns to tie their Western Conference semifinal at a game apiece.

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Nash was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player award before the series and was a catalyst in the top-seeded Suns' 127-102 rout in Game 1 Monday, embarrassing his former team in a vintage Phoenix win.

He had an assist and a jumper on consecutive possessions in the final minute to tie it at 106-106, but saw Nowitzki deliver the final blow in this one and wrest home-court advantage from Phoenix.

Following Nash's jumper, Nowitzki drew swingman Quentin Richardson and used his six-inch height advantage, backing the Phoenix defender down before hitting a turnaround jumper with 6.8 seconds left.

"I looked at the clock, I wanted to go with about six or seven seconds on the shot clock," Nowitzki said. "I was able to take it baseline and spin him, that's my move. Fortunately, it went in for us."

The Suns had a final chance and got the ball in the hands of Nash, whose attempt at a pick-and-roll was defended well by the 7-foot Nowitzki. He reset and passed outside to Richardson, who stepped outside the arc before missing an open look as the buzzer sounded.

"Steve didn't quite get into the lane (for the pick-and-roll); they did a pretty good job and he passed it out to Q," Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He got a pretty good look, it just didn't go down."

"We ran a pick-and-roll and we were just going to try and attack them," Nash said. "It had been successful for us the few previous plays, but with six seconds it's difficult to predict what's going to happen."

Richardson elected to go for the win after first passing up a look at a shorter jumper.

"That was just me, you know I am going for every play," said Richardson, who scored 12 points. "That is what I do and what I know. I just didn't make it. I felt good. I thought it was going in. If I had to do it all over again I would take the same shot."

Nowitzki, who called out Dallas center Erick Dampier after Monday's loss, had just four points in the fourth but they were the final four his team needed.

After Nowitzki hit a pair of free throws to put the Mavericks on top, 106-102, with 1:54 to go, Nash found Amaré Stoudemire for a dunk and later hit a shot over Nowitzki to tie it with 27 seconds left, setting up Nowitzki's game-winner.

"We got the ball in Dirk's hands and we like it in his hands at the end of a game," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "He made a tough shot."

Game 3 is Friday in Dallas.

The Suns trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half and lost starting guard Joe Johnson to a concussion with 19 seconds to go before the break. Johnson was fouled by Jerry Stackhouse on a dash to the hoop and fell on his face, suffering a minor concussion and taking six stitches before heading to an area hospital.

His trip to the hospital revealed a displaced fracture of the left orbital bone, and Johnson will miss at least one game after surgery Thursday.

"It's tough. Joe's been averaging a bunch of points, he's one of our best defenders and he's obviously a terrific player," Nash said. "Obviously we missed him."

Perhaps motivated by its fallen teammate, Phoenix had a 13-2 run to start the second half and take a 59-56 lead, its first since the opening minutes.

"In the second half we started to play our game," said Suns forward Shawn Marion, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds. "If we hit a shot there or made a stop there we would have won the game."

Michael Finley helped Dallas weather the storm with 12 third-quarter points and hit one of his five 3-pointers with 62 seconds to go in the period to pull the Mavericks within 80-78.

"I just had some good looks at the basket and I got into a nice rhythm offensively," said Finley, who finished with 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting. "My teammates kept finding me and Phoenix kept leaving me open. Those shots were going down and it kept us in the game."

Neither team led by more than six points in the fourth and the Suns never led after Mavericks guard Jason Terry hit a jumper to tie it at 96-96 with 4:43 left.

"We just came out a lot more aggressive and I think we had our legs under us a lot better tonight," said Terry, who scored six points during a 12-4 run that gave Dallas a 104-98 lead with 2:49 left. "Defensively, we were alert and aware, getting the loose balls. That's what you have to do against this team."

Phoenix had shot nearly 51 percent over its first five playoff games -- all wins -- but was held to a 41.6 percent mark (37-of-89) in Game 2. The club's 106 points represents a postseason low.

"You go back and analyze certain things and you look at certain matchups that are not good for you," Avery Johnson said. "Main thing is, we wanted to slow them down, and to give this team 24 points in the fourth quarter, we feel pretty good about that."

Dampier, who lashed back at Nowitzki after hearing of his teammate's comments, scored 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first quarter to help Dallas take a 34-22 lead.

"I know I didn't play the way I can in Game 1, and I just want to come out and do what I can to help this team win," Dampier said.

"I don't know if it was what I said, but he played great tonight," Nowitzki said. "He was aggressive from the start. On the glass, on defense, he made some big plays for us. When he's active and attacks penetration and is a presence for us in the middle, we're a different team."

Nash scored 23 points and had 13 assists and Stoudemire added 30 and 16 rebounds for Phoenix, which had won seven straight at home dating to the regular season.

"I didn't think we were going to go four-four-four-four (series sweeps), so that wasn't going to work," said D'Antoni, who was presented with his NBA Coach of the Year award before the game. "Sure we're disappointed, but I think we lost it."