Mavs Fans For Life

Game 37 Recap: Mavs vs Nuggets

Image Credit: @MavsPR Twitter

On Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Denver Nuggets in the second road game of the second half of the season. This will be a big test for the Mavericks to see if they can contend against the best teams in the western conference. The Mavericks will look to gather win number 20 on the season against a tough Nuggets team.

On Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first road game back from the All-Star break. The Mavericks started this game without their superstars, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, as they wanted to rest their stars on the second night of a back-to-back. As a result of the Mavericks resting their stars, the Thunder made them pay as they took control for the majority of the game. The Mavericks were able to battle back in the final minutes of the game but the Thunder were able to hold on for a 116-106 victory. Jalen Brunson scored 26 and Tim Hardaway Jr added 24 points for the Mavericks as their record dropped to 19-17 on the season as a result of the loss. The loss drops the Mavericks to a 2-5 record on the second night of a back-to-back.

The Denver Nuggets are coming into this game by going 7-3 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 103-102 nail biting win against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday to see their record improve to 22-15 on the season. The Nuggets are coming into this season after having a busy offseason that saw them add JaMychal Green in free agency while drafting RJ Hampton but had to see Jerami Grant leave to free agency. The Nuggets currently hold the fifth seed in the competitive western conference and are on pace to acquire a top 5 seed if they can remain healthy and be productive for the rest of the season. The Nuggets are led by Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic and anytime you have those two on a roster, expect major damage to be done on the opposing team.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks won their last meeting with the Nuggets 124-117 in overtime on January 7th, 2021 in the Mavericks’ 4th game of the 2021 calendar year. The Mavericks previously won their regular season series last season 2-1 against the Denver Nuggets. The home team is 20-8 over the last 28 meetings. It was this Nuggets team that the Mavericks last played at the American Airlines Center before the NBA paused the season last season as a result of Covid-19. Overall, the Mavericks hold the all-time series with a record of 91-86.

The Mavericks started this game by having their superstars, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis return from sitting out the previous game. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Richardson, Kleber, Finney-Smith and Porzingis as their starting five in this game. The first points in the game would belong to Will Barton as he drilled a three pointer for the Nuggets to get this game underway. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 10:08 left in the quarter after the Nuggets went on a 9-0 run to begin the game. This wasn’t the type of start the Mavericks had hoped for, especially against a top team in the western conference. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks had missed all their shooting attempts taken thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic but couldn’t convert as Nikola Jokic was there to steal the ball from Doncic. The Mavericks wouldn’t get their first points until the 9:33 mark as Dorian Finney-Smith nailed a two pointer while being fouled and was able to hit the “And One” free-throw to come within 10-3 of the Nuggets. The Mavericks were able to get something going after a slow start to the quarter by nailing some shots on offense to come within 12-8 of the Nuggets with 8:05 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to come within four points of the Nuggets after Kristaps Porzingis drilled a three pointer to come within 17-13 of the Nuggets. The Mavericks fixed their shooting woes by draining a three pointer from Dorian Finney-Smith to once again come within four points with less than 5 minutes left in the quarter to come within 20-16. The Mavericks were able to slow things down and get good quality offensive possessions that had kept them within distance of the Nuggets. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Nuggets were able to hold onto their lead and took a 29-28 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Will Barton as he scored 10 points for the Nuggets . The Mavericks were led by Kristaps Porzingis as he scored 8 points. This game looked like it was going to be a blowout for the Nuggets but the Mavericks came storming back to make it a game. The Mavericks ended the first quarter by shooting 50% from the field while the Nuggets struggled to close out the quarter as they shot 45.8% from the field.

The second quarter would begin by having Dwight Powell nail an alley-oop from Luka Doncic for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway and have their first lead in the game. The Nuggets wouldn’t get their first points until the 11:03 mark as JaMychal Green drilled a three pointer to tie the game at 32-32. The Nuggets would call a timeout with 10:48 left in the quarter as the Mavericks started to heat up in the game. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were on a 6-3 run that resulted in taking the lead from the Nuggets. Coming out of the timeout, the Nuggets turned to Jamal Murray as he couldn’t convert on a missed jump shot to keep the score at 34-32 with the Mavericks leading. The Nuggets were able to come within two points of the Mavericks as JaMychal Green made a slam dunk with 9:08 left in the quarter to come within 36-34 of the Mavericks. The Mavericks extended their lead to eight points as Luka Doncic nailed a “in your face” step-back three pointer with 8:14 left in the quarter to take a 42-34 lead. This was exactly what you had hoped for the Mavericks to do in this game, it just took them awhile to wake up. The Mavericks allowed the Nuggets to climb back into the game as the Nuggets came within six points before Rick Carlisle called a timeout with 5:26 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Nuggets were able to gather some momentum by getting good shots on offense. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer to keep the score at 46-40 with the Mavericks holding the lead. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to 10 points as a result of Tim Hardaway Jr nailing a jump shot with 3:12 left in the quarter to take a 53-43 lead. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to hold onto their lead to take a 62-51 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Will Barton as he scored 17 points for the Nuggets. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he scored 16 points with 10 of them coming in this quarter alone. This second quarter belonged to the Mavericks as they dominated the quarter by out scoring the Nuggets 34-22. This was a big game for the Mavericks and looked like a big game as both teams were fighting hard.

Coming out of the half, the Nuggets were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Nikola Jokic nail a two pointer to come within 62-53 of the Mavericks to get the quarter underway. Dorian Finney-Smith was able to score the first points for the Mavericks as he drilled a three pointer with 10:38 left in the quarter to extend their lead to 65-55. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to 13 points after Josh Richardson nailed a three pointer with 9:24 left in the quarter to take a 68-55 lead. The Nuggets would call a timeout with 8:25 left in the quarter after the Mavericks started to pull away from the Nuggets. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were on a 9-3 run, with all of their points coming from the three-ball. The Nuggets started to lose sight of the Mavericks as the Mavericks started to pull closer to finding all of the “nuggets” with the momentum in the Mavericks favor. Coming out of the timeout, the Nuggets turned to Paul Millsap but couldn’t convert as Kristaps Porzingis was there to block the shot with 8:06 left in the quarter to keep the score at 71-58, with the Mavericks leading. A technical foul would be called on Luka Doncic with 7:50 left in the quarter for arguing with the officials as that’s not what the Mavericks wanted, to turn the momentum to the Nuggets. Jamal Murray would hit the technical foul free-throw to come within 71-59 of the Mavericks as one more technical foul on Luka Doncic and he would be done for the game. Kristaps Porzingis continued his hot start to the game as he would give the Mavericks 5 straight points to extend their lead to 79-64 with 6:46 left in the quarter as Porzingis now has scored 17 points thus far. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 5:20 left in the quarter as the Mavericks had gone quiet on offense and didn’t want the momentum to be on the Nuggets side. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Kristaps Porzingis as he was able to convert by drilling a three pointer to extend their lead to 82-67 with 5:00 minutes left in the quarter. The Mavericks had plans on reaching the 90-point mark while the Nuggets were struggling to hit 70 points in the game. The Nuggets would call a timeout with 3:40 left in the quarter as the Mavericks started to blowout the Nuggets. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were on a 8-0 run to extend their lead to 20 points. Coming out of the timeout, the Nuggets turned to Nikola Jokic but couldn’t convert as he lost the ball out of the bounds that would result in a turnover to keep the score at 87-67, with the Mavericks in total control of the game. The Mavericks reached the 90-point mark in the game with 2:37 left in the quarter as Maxi Kleber drilled a three pointer to keep their lead at 20 points. The Mavericks reached 90 points in the game while the Nuggets just reached the 70-point mark as that should give you more clarity on how this game was going. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to take a 93-73 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Will Barton as he scored 23 points for the Nuggets. The Mavericks were led by Kristaps Porzingis as he scored 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. The Mavericks were in total control of the game and had the “victory keys” in their pockets, they just had to use it to open the door and walk in the door for the “victory”.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Michael Porter Jr nail a breakaway slam dunk for the Nuggets to get this quarter underway. The Mavericks weren’t able to get their first points until the 10:51 mark by having Josh Richardson nail a jump shot to extend their lead to 95-75. The Mavericks were clicking on all cylinders as Tim Hardaway Jr made a fast break slam dunk with 10:32 left in the game to take a 97-76. Maybe the weather played a huge factor for the Nuggets cold shooting, as it was snowing in the area during the game and that probably carried into arena, while the Mavericks were coming from Oklahoma City, where it was nice and warm. The Nuggets were able to garner a little bit of a run as they had a couple of good possessions to trim the Mavericks lead to 14 points as Michael Porter Jr drilled a three pointer with 8:12 left in the game to come within 99-85 of the Mavericks. The Mavericks finally reached the 100-point mark with 7:34 left in the game as Jalen Brunson finished off the “three point play” by nailing the free-throw to keep their lead at 102-85. The Nuggets would call a timeout with 7:09 left in the game in order to give them one last hope of doing something for the rest of the game. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were on a 5-3 run to keep the Nuggets from drawing some type of comeback. Coming out of the timeout, the Nuggets turned to Jamal Murray as he was able to convert on a jump shot with 6:56 left in the game, to come within 103-87 of the Mavericks. The Nuggets would use their “coach’s challenge” to review a foul call on Will Barton with 6:07 left in the game that would give Luka Doncic some free-throws. After the review, the Officials would overturn the foul call which resulted in a jump ball at mid-court as the Nuggets were able to keep their last remaining timeout due to winning the challenge. As a result of that mess, the Nuggets won the jump ball and got three points out of it by having Michael Porter Jr drill a three pointer with 5:54 left in the game to come within 105-90 of the Mavericks. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 5:17 left in the game as the Nuggets were getting closer to the Mavericks and to remind the team to not blow this lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Josh Richardson as he was able to make both free-throws to extend their lead to 107-93 as a result of being fouled with 5:05 left in the game. With the clock in favor of the Mavericks, the Mavericks used some of the clock as Luka Doncic nailed a jump shot with 3:24 left in the game to keep the momentum as they extended their lead to 111-95. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 3:10 left in the game to give the Mavericks a breather in order to officially close out this game and put it to bed for good. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Kristaps Porzingis on a second chance possession and was able to convert on a three pointer from the Nuggets logo with 2:25 left in the game to take a 114-97 lead. The Nuggets would call a timeout as a result of the three pointer with 2:24 left in the game in hopes to generate a remarkable comeback as they would need to generate points on every possession for the reminder of the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Nuggets turned to Greg Whittington but couldn’t convert as he air-balled a jump shot with 2:09 left in the game as that would ultimately do it with the score 114-97 in favor of the Mavericks.

This team looked like they overslept and missed their alarms as the Mavericks were down 10 points, only to come back and lead the Nuggets 62-51 at halftime. The Mavericks caught fire in the second quarter, which they had to have in order to keep up with the Nuggets’ pace. This was the type of game that you expected it to be with both teams trying to figure out who can compete in the tough western conference.

In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Denver Nuggets 116-103 in a game the Mavericks had to have and they got it. With the win, the Mavericks record would improve to 20-17 on the season as they clinched the season series from the Nuggets, which would be huge later in the season in terms of seeding in the western conference. In their returns from missing last game, Luka Doncic finished the game with 21 points and 12 assists while Kristaps Porzingis finished with 25 points and 6 rebounds as the duo showed up in the win. The Nuggets were led by Nikola Jokic as he finished with 26 points and 11 assists as that wasn’t enough to generate a win for his team. The Mavericks have now won 12 of their last 16 games with this win.

The Mavericks will come back home to Dallas as the Los Angeles Clippers will come to town on Monday to play Mavericks at the American Airlines Center.

Categories: Mavs Fans For Life

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