For three quarters Saturday night, Monta Ellis didn’t make a single basket.

Yet he was in control of the game for the Mavericks on his way to a season-high-tying 13 assists, 11 before halftime.

And when they needed it, Ellis found a few slivers in the Detroit defense and carved up the Pistons in the fourth quarter to fuel the Mavericks’ 113-102 victory at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Ellis finished with just 12 points, but 10 of them came in the game’s final 8:15, when the Mavericks pushed a five-point lead upward and protected it like it was gold.

Ellis was one of three Mavericks to amass double-doubles. Samuel Dalembert had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Shawn Marion had 10 points and 11 rebounds as the Mavericks reached a season-best 11 games over .500 at 34-23.

They also improved to 2-0 on their last Eastern Conference road trip of the season. They will go for the sweep Monday at New York.

Ellis was fighting a slight right ankle problem after he tweaked it early in the Philadelphia game Friday night. In addition, he may still have lingering effects from a hamstring strain suffered before the All-Star break.

None of that seemed to matter against the Pistons.

He followed up his seven-turnover game at Philly with only two miscues against the Pistons.

“Offensively, we kept attacking,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who had 24 points. “It’s not like we had a great night defensively, but offensively, we’ve been really sharp on this trip, and Monta’s floor game was phenomenal, just getting everybody involved.

“They trapped him off the screen and roll, and he found the open guy. And then in the fourth quarter, they didn’t trap him anymore, and he got in the paint and basically won the game for us.

“That’s exactly what we envisioned when we put this team together. He’s always attacking, and that’s what we needed.”

Ellis, as has been his custom frequently this season, left the locker room quickly without addressing reporters. Caught on the way to the team’s bus, he said his fourth-quarter scoring wasn’t a result of the Pistons playing him differently after he had gouged them with his passing earlier.