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Game 62: Mavs at Nuggets presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Run With Me

Devin Harris drives and Brandan Wright keeps running and gets the reward catching the lob from Harris to rock the rim with the alley-oop jam.

DENVER — Avoiding three consecutive losses all season entering Wednesday’s outing in Denver, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to continue that trend while trying to bounce back from defeats at the hands of Chicago and San Antonio.

Facing a skidding Denver team on its own six-game losing streak, the Mavericks looked to get back on track before a stretch against three teams with winning records. The Mavs also tried to avenge two previous losses to the Nuggets back in the month of November, attempting to send the Denver squad to a 12th loss in a 13-game span.

But, just like the first two meetings between the two teams, the Nuggets (26-34) would have the Mavs’ number. And after suffering a 115-110 defeat, the Mavericks (36-26) limped to their first three-game losing streak of the season.

“We were sitting on two losses and this is a game we needed to have, but we just weren’t quite ready to play,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of the loss.

He added: “We had just lost two. And knowing what the standings are, this is one we wanted and needed to have. We just didn’t come out the right way and didn’t set the right tone, and they took advantage of it.”

After returning from a left rib fracture to score a season-high 31 points while dishing out 11 assists in Denver’s loss to Minnesota on Monday, Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson looked to get his team off to a quick start against the Dallas defense. The Mavs then quickly found themselves in a double-digit hole, trailing by as many as 17 before the above-the-rim finishes of backup big man Brandan Wright helped the visiting team inch within seven, 41-34, after the first 12 minutes of play.

“We started off bad and we didn’t really show signs until the second quarter,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confessed. “But I take full responsibility for this loss, because at the beginning of the game we weren’t into it and it was my mistake. I should have subbed all the guys out of the game that gave up 12 points in 3 ½ minutes or whatever it was, and not doing that was a major mistake. I’ve been allowing guys to play through things, and I believed that these guys would snap out of it. We didn’t, so it’s a coaching loss.”

After creeping back within single digits, the Mavericks would again see the Nuggets start to create a separation on the scoreboard as the second stanza got underway. The Mavs then faced a 19-point deficit, despite the best efforts of Nowitzki and forward Shawn Marion, before heading into the halftime intermission trailing 68-51.

Despite Wright’s 12 first-half points on 6-of-7 shooting off the bench, the Nuggets’ 53.8 percent shooting as a team bettered the Mavericks’ 44.4 percent through two quarters as Lawson scored 17 points. The Nuggets also dominated the boards, holding a 25-16 rebounding advantage at the midway mark.

With his team in need of a spark, Carlisle made a change to his lineup to begin the second half, sitting first-string center Samuel Dalembert in favor of second-year big man Bernard James. The move would immediately pay off as the Mavs staged a rally, trimming their deficit to 70-60 on Nowitzki’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 9:09 left in the third.

The Nuggets immediately answered with a 7-0 spurt to regain the momentum, but Wright would then lead the Mavs on a 13-2 run of their own to end the quarter. And while staying within an arm’s reach, the Mavericks surged into the fourth down six, 79-73.

Unable to gain any traction as the final period got going, the Mavericks would again fall behind by a large margin early in the fourth. J.J. Hickson’s transition slam then put the Nuggets up 20, 95-75, forcing a timeout by Carlisle with 7:40 still on the clock and capping a 16-2 Denver run to open the final quarter.

“It’s part of the game,” Wright said. “You know, you never want a 16-2 run to happen, but we gave it an effort. But the first quarter killed us and we’ve got to come out more ready than that.”

And despite the late-game theatrics of sixth man Vince Carter and starting 2-guard Monta Ellis, the Mavs wouldn’t recover the rest of the way while falling to their third straight loss.

Finishing with 27 points on 13-of-20 shooting, Nowitzki led the Mavs in a losing effort while also snatching down seven rebounds. Wright added 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Carter recorded 17 points off the bench. Ellis finished with 16 points to go with four assists and Marion pitched in 15 points and six rebounds in the first unit.

Wilson Chandler led six Nuggets in double figures with 21 points on 6-of-17 shooting. The Nuggets also won despite getting outshot by the Mavs, 52.9 percent to 46.8 percent, claiming a 43-33 rebounding advantage while both teams finished with 15 turnovers.

“We didn’t play good,” Ellis admitted. “It’s a team thing, and one person can’t take the fault for this. We didn’t come out to play.”

“I like the 11 (points allowed) in the third,” Carlisle concluded. “You know, we came out angry and with some resolve. But look, it’s going to take anger and resolve on every defensive possession for 20 more games for us to get to the hump and get over the hump. What happened tonight is just beneath what this team has stood for, for the most part. And again, it’s on me as much as anybody.”

Note: The Mavs will now return to American Airlines Center Friday night, hosting the Portland Trail Blazers. The season series is tied at 1-1 after both teams won on the other’s home floor. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Dallas Mavericks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Shawn Marion, F 29 7-12 1-2 0-0 3 3 6 0 0 0 1 1 -15 15
Dirk Nowitzki, F 34 13-20 1-2 0-0 0 7 7 0 0 0 1 4 -7 27
Samuel Dalembert, C 9 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 -18 0
Monta Ellis, G 38 7-13 1-1 1-1 0 1 1 4 1 1 3 5 -6 16
Jose Calderon, G 30 2-5 1-4 0-0 1 1 2 6 1 0 4 1 -11 5
DeJuan Blair 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -6 0
Vince Carter 20 5-12 3-7 4-4 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 4 5 17
Devin Harris 17 0-5 0-2 2-2 1 3 4 11 1 0 1 2 5 2
Jae Crowder 15 2-2 2-2 2-2 1 3 4 1 0 1 2 1 1 8
Brandan Wright 25 9-13 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 0 1 2 1 2 12 18
Shane Larkin 4 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 8 2
Bernard James 10 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 1 0 1 5 7 0
Wayne Ellington 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ricky Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Gal Mekel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
    46-87 9-20 9-9 8 25 33 24 6 4 15 27   110
    52.9% 45.0% 100.0%                    
Denver Nuggets
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Wilson Chandler, F 32 6-17 3-7 6-8 2 3 5 1 2 0 2 3 14 21
Kenneth Faried, F 32 5-10 0-0 6-6 3 5 8 4 0 0 2 1 4 16
Timofey Mozgov, C 20 0-5 0-0 3-4 6 4 10 1 0 1 1 1 3 3
Randy Foye, G 38 5-9 4-8 2-2 1 2 3 4 2 0 4 3 -5 16
Ty Lawson, G 35 5-12 2-5 8-9 2 4 6 7 2 0 2 1 -8 20
Evan Fournier 14 3-5 2-2 1-2 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 3 4 9
Quincy Miller 8 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 -11 0
JJ Hickson 26 8-10 0-0 0-1 1 4 5 3 0 5 0 1 9 16
Anthony Randolph 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -4 0
Aaron Brooks 17 2-6 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 4 4 0 0 1 7 4
Darrell Arthur 14 3-5 0-0 4-4 1 3 4 1 1 0 1 1 12 10
Danilo Gallinari 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
JaVale McGee 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nate Robinson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jan Vesely 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
    37-79 11-24 30-36 16 27 43 27 12 6 14 16   115
    46.8% 45.8% 83.3%                    

Mavericks vs. Nuggets

The Mavs battled for 48 minutes but couldn't manage to knock off the Nuggets Wednesday night in Denver.

 

Practice Report: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki weighs in on matching up against the Nuggets Wednesday night, playing team defense, how big the upcoming slate of games are and more.

 

Practice Report: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle talks about Wednesday's matchup against the Nuggets, playing team defense, limiting turnovers, the importance of each game as the season winds down and more.

DENVER — Facing an opponent that has dropped six straight games and 11 of the last 12 outings, the Dallas Mavericks will likely have to guard against having a letdown Wednesday night in Denver.

However, prior to playing in front of a national audience and after seeing the Nuggets (25-34) battle for the better part of 48 minutes during a 132-128 home loss Monday against Minnesota, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle prepared his team for a dogfight during its Wednesday morning walkthrough. Losers of two straight, the Mavericks (36-25) will now place plenty of importance on getting back on track as the regular season draws to a close.

“Well, this is one of 21 Super Bowls for us,” Carlisle said while emphasizing the importance of Wednesday’s outing. “You know, every team is dangerous. You bring ESPN into the equation, and that’s always going to juice everything up. We know that, and so we’re going to have to play. Minnesota had got a pretty good lead, and these guys made a wild charge at the end and almost won the game. So, playing for 48 (minutes) is going to be a constant theme every game going down the stretch.”

Falling to the Nuggets twice already this season, the Mavs will have plenty on the line as they seek retribution. The Mavericks will also try to better their positioning in the Western Conference playoff picture, entering the night in the seventh spot and a game behind Golden State for sixth.

Meanwhile, the Mavs will look to contain Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson, who returned from an eight-game hiatus due to a left rib fracture to score a season-high 31 points while dishing out 11 assists in the loss to Minnesota. And with Lawson averaging 19.5 points and 10 assists in two Denver wins over the Mavs, the Dallas defense will try to do what it failed to accomplish while surrendering 22 points and seven assists to Spurs point guard Tony Parker during Sunday’s 112-106 loss in San Antonio.

Note: The Mavericks will now continue to play away from home, touching down in Denver for Wednesday’s showdown against the Nuggets. Denver leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN at 7 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center Friday night, hosting the Portland Trail Blazers. The season series is tied at 1-1 after both teams won on the other’s home floor. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

 

DENVER — Despite the Denver Nuggets’ current six-game losing streak, the Dallas Mavericks know better than to get caught overlooking Wednesday’s opponent after two losses in a row themselves.

Looking to shake off a home loss to Chicago and road defeat at San Antonio, the Mavericks (36-25) will try to solidify their place in the playoff race with a much-needed win away from home over a Nuggets team that has dropped 11 of 12 overall. Meanwhile, the Mavs will attempt to avenge two previous losses to the Nuggets (25-34) in a span of three days earlier in the season, battling the mile-high atmosphere at the Pepsi Center in order to avoid dropping three straight games for the first time this season.

“Well, you’ve got to go back to the basics,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said as the Mavs try to get back on track.

He added: “[The Nuggets] give us problems, and obviously the first two games they beat us. They switch a lot and offensively they’ve got a lot of guys who drive. They push the pace up, and so we have to make sure we get back in transition and kind of force them into a halfcourt game. Then we’ve got a better chance of stopping them.”

Falling to a 102-100 defeat in Denver back on Nov. 23, the Mavericks would be unable to get their revenge two nights later in Dallas as the Nuggets sprinted to a 110-96 win on the American Airlines Center floor. Now, with three straight teams with winning records looming after Wednesday’s contest, the Mavs know they can’t afford a slip-up, entering the night one-half game up on Phoenix for the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings.

“I mean, this is going to be a hard stretch and that’s just the way it’s going to be,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said as the Mavs begin a 21-game sprint to the postseason. “You have to embrace the difficulty of it. And if you don’t, we’re all going to get hit in the face.”

Note: The Mavericks will continue to play away from home, touching down in Denver for Wednesday’s showdown against the Nuggets. Denver leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN at 7 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center Friday night, hosting the Portland Trail Blazers. The season series is tied at 1-1 after both teams won on the other’s home floor. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.