Nuggets vs. Mavericks
Chandler Parsons scores 27 and Dirk Nowitzki adds 20 as the Mavericks defeat the Nuggets, 122-116 in overtime.
Final: Mavs 122, Nuggets 116
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
Dallas scored 1.391 points per possession in the third quarter en route to winning the frame 32-24. The Mavs connected on 52.2 percent of their field goal attempts in the frame and turned it over just once.
The Mavs are now 7-3 in overtime this season.
Wesley Matthews fouled out for his first time as a Maverick. It’s the fourth time a Mav has fouled out.
Dallas fell behind by as many as 22 points in the second quarter behind a strong Nuggets start and a sluggish Mavs start from the field. However, a late push in the second frame and a strong third quarter actually momentarily gave the Mavs the lead, but the Nuggets caught fire from the field once again and ultimately reclaimed the lead. Dallas trailed by 14 points with 6:45 left in regulation and by nine points with 1:50 left to go, yet the Mavs still forced overtime and got a huge, huge, huge win. As a coach it’s got to be difficult to react to a game like this. On one hand, Rick Carlisle has repeatedly said the Mavericks have to get off to better starts. On the other, Dallas did such a good job of erasing a significant lead in only a matter of minutes. So as upset as Carlisle must want to be for what happened in the game’s first 20 minutes, the next 15 went about as well as they could possibly go. The trick is to get the Mavs to channel that level of intensity and focus over an entire 48 minutes. That takes a complete team commitment.
The way Dallas got back into the game is the most interesting element here. Needing offense, Carlisle turned to a Dirk Nowitzki/Chandler Parsons combination at the 4 and 5. In the second and third quarter alone, that pair was +18. The Mavs completely maximized the space on the floor on the offensive end, giving Parsons and the guards driving lanes while spotting the floor with shooters. It led to plenty of easy looks. The downside of that duo is, theoretically, you’re giving up some rim protection and size which could hurt when it comes to rebounding, but Dallas was in comeback mode, when you can’t really worry about what’s happening on defense. At that point, it’s all about trying to hold on on that side of the ball while scoring in bunches quickly to get back into the game and swing the momentum. The Mavericks did just that.
The Mavs’ small-ball lineup also kept Nuggets rookie sensation Nikola Jokic off the floor for long stretches. His per-game numbers might not jump off the page at you, but he’s a versatile force to be reckoned with on the offensive end, with the inside touch and passing ability of a veteran in this league. But he’s not accustomed to defending so far from the rim on the defensive end, leaving him at a disadvantage against both Parsons and Nowitzki. Now, the argument could be made that he’s got enough size and strength to punish either at the other end of the floor, but in terms of net value, the Mavericks have the upper hand in that matchup, no matter how it plays out. Three points are more than two, of course.
The Mavs (31-28) play the Minnesota Timberwolves (18-40) Sunday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. Central.