Rapid Reaction: Mavs 102, Nuggets 84
How it happened: The Dallas Mavericks blew out a beat-up Denver squad. The Nuggets were missing three starters, but the Mavs didn’t mess around while putting them out of their misery.
The Mavs led by 12 points at halftime and turned it into a laugher after the break. Third quarters had been problematic for the Mavs recently, but they outscored the Nuggets by a 32-15 margin in that frame to allow Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion to kick back and relax for the last dozen minutes.
That was the most points the Mavs had scored in a third quarter all season. It was the fewest points the Nuggets had scored in any quarter this season.
Six Mavs scored in double figures. They are 19-1 when that has happened since the start of last season, including 3-0 this year.
Marion led the way with 16 points, 10 rebounds and a season-high six assists while shutting down Denver point guard Ty Lawson (three points, two assists, 1-8 FG). Lamar Odom had one of his best offensive performances as a Maverick, scoring 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Kidd scored a season-high 13 points, shooting 4-of-6 from 3-point range.
The other Mavs in double figures: Vince Carter (15 points, 5-10 FG), Nowitzki (12 points, 5-12 FG) and Brandan Wright (10 points, 5-7 FG). Carter, who has 20,794 career points, moved past David Robinson for 33rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
What it means: The Mavs have their second five-game winning streak of the season. However, they paid a painful price during this win. Delonte West, whose play has been key to managing Kidd’s minutes, suffered a fractured and dislocated right ring finger during the second quarter. The Mavs have not announced how long they expect the left-handed West to be sidelined.
Play of the game: It was a textbook example of how to run a fast break. Carter grabbed a rebound, threw an outlet pass to Kidd, who caught the ball across the half-court line, dribbled a couple of times and left a soft bounce pass to trailing Wright. The Mavs’ human exclamation point got eye-high with the rim for the two-hand finish.
Stat of the night: Marion recorded his fifth double-double of the season. The rest of the Mavs’ roster has three double-doubles.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Mavericks news, Dirk Nowitzki and much more.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett discuss the upcoming NBA draft and possible moves the Mavericks could make.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.