Rapid Reaction: Mavs 112, Nuggets 95
Dallas never trailed in the 106-99 win over the Spurs and trailed only 8-6 against the Nuggets, who saw the debut of Wilson Chandler, but did not play newcomer JaVale McGee, acquired in a deadline trade from Washington forNene.
Playing without Brendan Haywood (sprained right knee) and Shawn Marion (sore left knee) for a second consecutive game, the Mavs continued to keep the offense revving -- scoring 63 points on 56.5 percent shooting in the first half -- and successfully countering every Nuggets run. It was the fourth consecutive game in which Dallas scored more than 100 points and held the opposition to double digits.
Dirk Nowitzki was again phenomenal with 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting. He continued his tear from beyond the arc with three long bombs on four attempts. It was his first 30-point game since he poured in 40 on March 3. At the half it looked like Nowitzki might be in line for his second career triple double with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists. He had to settle with a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds while finishing with the six dimes.
Brandan Wright, helping to fill in at center, had a big night with 15 points and six rebounds. Ian Mahinmi started again and had 11 points and five rebounds. Rodrigue Beaubois, getting his second consecutive start, was not flashy, but was steady with 14 points, six assists and three rebounds. He helped to limit Denver point guard Ty Lawson to 11 points and six assists.
Jason Kidd finished a 3-pointer shy from his second consecutive double-double. He had seven points, 10 assists and no turnovers, and he got to end his night after playing just 25 minutes.
Lamar Odom still couldn't find his shot, but he finished with nine rebounds and four assists to go with six points and four turnovers.
All in all, six Mavs scored in double figures as they finished up shooting well above 50 percent in building a 21-point fourth-quarter lead.
The Nuggets, who saw Andre Miller leave early with a shoulder injury and then Danilo Gallinari later exit with a left thumb fracture, cut a 14-point deficit in the second quarter to seven at the half. But a 9-0 start to the third quarter for Dallas that included a Nowitzki transition 3 and a pretty Beaubois drive and finish pushed the lead to 16 points. Then the Mavs started settling for jumpers and the Nuggets surged to within 78-72. The Mavs quickly countered, capped by a long 3-pointer by Nowitzki to give him 28 at the end of three quarters.
What it means: The Mavs avoided matching their longest road drought of eight consecutive losses way back in 1999, pre-Mark Cuban. Dallas, which won its fourth consecutive game, got its first road win since Feb. 17 at Philadelphia. The win also gave the Mavs (27-20) a bit of separation from Denver (25-21) in the Western Conference standings.
Bold play of the game: Early in the third quarter, Kidd brought the ball up after a Nuggets miss, kept his dribble around the arc, dumped it to a trailing Nowitzki at the top of the arc and he stepped right into a deep knee-bend 3 that hit nothing but net for a 68-56 lead and a 5-0 start to the quarter that soon expanded to 9-0 for a 16-point lead.
Stat of the game: The Mavs set a season-high with 33 assists on 45 field goals. They started the game with 18 assists on their first 19 baskets. Their previous high was 31 assists at Phoenix on Jan. 3o. Milwaukee holds the season mark for most assists in a game with 38.
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.