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Thursday, April 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nuggets 95, Mavericks 94

By Tim MacMahon

How it happened: The Dallas Mavericks’ bid to snap the Denver Nuggets’ long home winning streak flopped in the final seconds.

Denver’s Andre Iguodala drove for the game-winning layup with 2.8 seconds remaining. Dallas’ Anthony Morrow, a rarely used reserve, had his 3-pointer at the buzzer blocked by Corey Brewer.

Brewer, whom the Mavs dealt to Denver along with Rudy Fernandez in a salary-dump deal before last season, came up big against his former team. Brewer scored 23 points off the bench, stepping up his offensive game after small forward Danilo Gallinari suffered a potentially serious knee injury in the second quarter, and made three clutch plays in the final minute.

First, Brewer came up with a steal on a Dirk Nowitzki spin move when the Mavs had a one-point lead. Brewer’s offensive rebound on the ensuing possession made Iguodala’s game winner possible. And Brewer sealed the Nuggets’ 19th straight home win with the block.

The Nuggets held Nowitzki to 13 points, none of which came in the fourth quarter. Center Brandan Wright led the Mavs with 16 points, but he was shut out in the second half.

The Nuggets played without point guard Ty Lawson, their leading scorer, but Andre Miller filled the void with 22 points and seven assists. Denver power forward Kenneth Faried added 12 points and 19 rebounds.

Iguodala had only eight points on 3-of-13 shooting, but he hit a big 3 with 4:40 remaining and the game-winning bucket.

The Mavs failed to score after Vince Carter’s jumper with 2:05 remaining.

What it means: The Mavs’ slim playoff hopes took another hit. Dallas dropped to 36-39 after its second consecutive loss to begin this four-game road trip, falling three games behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers, who own the tie-breaker. The Nuggets (52-24) held on to third place in the West standings.

Play of the game: Iguodala slashed through the middle of the Dallas defense, beating Vince Carter with a crossover move and finishing with a left-handed layup with 2.8 seconds remaining for the game-winning bucket.

Stat of the night: The Mavs are 2-14 on the road against the teams above them in the West standings.