Nowitzki scored 36 points and Shawn Marion added 15 in the game, in which the lead changed seven times in the fourth quarter alone.
"We got some stops down the stretch to hold them to just 15 points in the fourth quarter," Nowitzki said. "That allowed us to get back into the game."
Erik Dampier and Jason Terry were also in double figures for Dallas, which has never lost to Charlotte in their 11 meetings.
Charlotte was led by Stephen Jackson, who scored 28 points but missed a 3-point shot at the buzzer that would have won the game.
The Bobcats led 61-50 after three quarters, but were outscored by Dallas 23-15 in the fourth quarter.