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Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Mavs 105, Nuggets 95

By Tim MacMahon


How it happened: The Mavs are tough to beat when they’re this balanced.

Five Mavericks scored in double figures to key a relatively easy win at the Pepsi Center. The Mavs are 9-2 this season when at least five players put up double figures.

Dirk Nowitzki, who suddenly looks like a 10-time All-Star again, led the way with 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting. Vince Carter added 17 points (7-12 FG) and a season-high eight assists. The other Mavs in double figures: Rodrigue Beaubois (13 points, 5-7 FG), Shawn Marion (13 points, 5-8 FG) and Brandan Wright (10 points, 5-8 FG).

The Mavs had their second-highest scoring first half of the season, scoring 64 points before the break. Their offensive production tailed off each quarter, but the Nuggets never made enough of a run to put Dallas’ lead in serious jeopardy.

What it means: The streak is over. The Mavs avoided losing a fourth straight game for the first time this season by beating a banged-up Western Conference playoff contender. And all indications are that Nowitzki is back in All-Star form for the long haul. He has scored 79 points in the last three games, his most productive offensive stretch of the season.

Play of the game: The Nuggets were on a 12-3 run when Jason Terry penetrated and kicked to Shawn Marion in the right corner. Marion knocked down the 3-pointer to stretch the Mavs’ lead back to double digits and halt the Nuggets' momentum with seconds remaining in the first half.

Stat of the night: Nowitzki surpassed Adrian Dantley for 21st on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Nowitzki’s 25 points gave him 23,179 for his career, two more than Dantley had. Robert Parish is next on the all-time list at 23,334 points.