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W2W4: Dirk Nowitzki takes hot hand to Denver

3/19/2012



Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has scored 27 points in each of the last three games. In three games this season against tonight's opponent, the Denver Nuggets, Nowitzki has averaged 19.0 points a game on 50 percent shooting, a number that is rather remarkable considering he is 1-of-10 from beyond the arc in those games.

And that's exactly from where the Nuggets better be wary of the 7-footer.

Once shooting the 3-ball at about 18 percent, Nowitzki is now shooting it at a much more respectable 35.6 percent. To raise his percentage that much means he's been dropping the 3 at a tremendous rate recently.

He hit his only two attempts in the second half of Saturday's win over the Spurs. In his last four games he's connected on 8-of-16. In 10 games in March, he's 20-of-41 (48.8 percent).

Records: Mavs (26-20); Nuggets (25-20)

When: 9:30 p.m.

Where: Pepsi Center

TV: TNT

Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM; 1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: With Shawn Marion (sore left knee) out of the lineup for a second consecutive game, will coach Rick Carlisle give Rodrigue Beaubois another start? It would make sense considering the quickness of Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson. Vince Carter, who started at small forward against the Spurs on Saturday, will be needed to guard hot-shooting Danilo Gallinari, who is averaging 18.0 points in the last three games.

Key matchup: Danilo Gallinari vs. Vince Carter/Lamar Odom

Carter, who started at small forward against the Spurs on Saturday, will be needed to guard the hot-shooting Gallinari, who is averaging 18.0 points in the last three games after getting off to a slow start in his return from a sprained ankle. Gallinari won't have to deal with Marion's long arms and he'll have a quickness advantage over Carter. Odom has had trouble guarding small forwards.

Injuries: Mavs - G Delonte West (fractured right ring finger) is out; C Brendan Haywood (sprained right knee) is out; F Shawn Marion (sore left knee) is out. Nuggets - None.

Up next: Los Angeles Lakers at Mavs, 8:30 p.m., Wednesday