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Game Recap: Mavs Breakdown Nuggets, 109-93

Dallas’ arch-rival in the Denver Nuggets roll into town and this year’s battle for the Western Conference second seed couldn’t be more exciting.  Tonight’s game at the American Airlines Center could be what decides the West and ultimately will spell out Dallas’ fate in the 1st round of the Western Conference playoffs. 

Do the Maverick’s bring their “A” game or will the Nuggets tip the season series in their favor?   

The Game as a Whole:

Dallas played like a team possessed.  How can you ask for any better of a game when Dirk Nowitzki notches only the second triple double of his career and leads the Mavericks to a 109-93 victory over a very dangerous Nuggets team.  This was a full team effort and the game wasn’t only won on the offensive end of the floor since the defense was stout (Carmelo Anthony only drops 10 points). 

You got the full package tonight.  Kidd was triggering the fast break and had his head on a swivel.  Dirk was attacking the basket, protecting the paint, and hitting the jumper.  Caron Butler was looking for steals and working the midrange.  Haywood was blocking shots and throwing down thunderous dunks.  Last but not least, Marion was flying all over the place doing anything and everything to get the job done.

This was the Mavericks team that every Dallas fan hopes will take the court when the playoffs roll around. 

Let’s Look at the Quarters…

1st Quarter:
  • Haywood gets the start tonight.  Does this mean that instead of “just working here” he is something more? 
  • Nene scores the first points for the Nuggets but he has to do it at the free-throw line.  Would like to see the Denver bigs have to shoot free throws all night.
  • 10:52, I haven’t seen Nowitzki make that hard of a move to the basket in a long time.  Petro picks up his second foul trying to stop Dirk from reaching the rim.
  • 10:28, Brendan Haywood is rewarded for running the floor with a lob over the top from Jason Kidd. 
  • 9:27, The Mavericks are getting a ton of great looks, running the floor well, and generally playing the tempo they want to play with the Denver.
  • 8:13, The Nuggets already have three team fouls.  Think Dallas is trying to force the issue when it comes to attacking the paint?
  • 8:02, Marion doesn’t settle for another flip shot and instead takes it hard to the rim. 
  • 6:02, Dallas just got a bit out worked on the glass.  Gave up two offensive rebounds with Haywood and Nowitzki in the vicinity.
  • 4:52, Kidd hits a three right in the face of a Nuggets defender trying to rush the three point line.
  • 4:18, Dirk from three?  Yes please.
  • 3:07, Mavericks are starting to fight for offensive rebounding position.  Great positioning results in another basket in the paint for Marion.
  • 1:42, Haywood is being aggressive and looking for his shot but not forcing anything.  He picks up his third basket of the game.
  • :56.9, Marion gets a break away lay up after gambling for a steal.  He also picks up another basket to end the quarter (leads all scorers for the Mavericks).
  • Just watched Kidd grab an defensive rebound over Carmelo Anthony.  Greatest rebounding guard ever?

2nd Quarter:
  • Welcome Roddy to the game.  He is in there with no safety net (Barea and Kidd are both out of the game).
  • 11:33, Butler hits the step-back with only 2 seconds left on the shot clock. 
  • 10:52, Mavericks are scorching for the floor currently hitting at a clip of 62%.
  • 10:22, Beaubois misses his first three but Dampier is right there to tip it back home.
  • 10:11, Terry got a bit hot after JR Smith bumped into him (picks up a tech for his troubles).
  • 9:44, Dampier lumbers in the lane and tries to throw down a thunderous dunk on Andersen.  It doesn’t work out so well.
  • Beaubois doesn’t look super fluid on offense.  He seems to be dumping the ball off extremely quick and then clearing out.  Would be nice if he probed a bit with the ball.
  • 8:40, Another clutch shot taken by Butler as the shot clock dwindles down.
  • 7:35, Denver has decided to turn the game into a track meet.  Both teams are currently racing up and down the floor trying to get the upper hand.
  • 6:15, Chris Andersen bails out Dirk as he drives to the basket.  Nowitzki goes to the line for the second time tonight.
  • 4:42, Nowitzki wisely passes up a three and instead rifles it into Haywood who was waiting in the paint.  Dirk has to have a ton of trust in Haywood to actually throw that pass in there.
  • 3:48, Three straight free throws missed by Dallas between Haywood and Nowitzki.  Dirk already has three trips to the line tonight.
  • 2:53, Kidd with the “shooters roll” and that brings the Dallas lead back up to six.
  • 2:17, Back-to-back steals and it finally led to a Beaubois three (his first of the night).
  • 1:46 left in the half and Dallas has punched their lead back up to 11.
  • Beaubois can’t handle the pass on an alley-oop dunk.  Kidd threw it way over his head.
  • Mavericks are looking great, as they have held a lead all the way through the first half.

3rd Quarter:
  • Nowitzki starts the third quarter off with a trip to the free throw line.
  • 10:03, Haywood gets a block on one end a dunk on the other.  That puts the Mavericks up by 14.
  • 9:09, Marion darts into the passing lane for his second steal of the night.  Add that to 17 points and you have yourself a pretty good game.
  • The Nuggets have put themselves in a 3 team foul hole.  Dallas is keeping the aggression level up.
  • 7:44, Something you never want to see, Haywood putting it on the floor and then taking a jump shot.
  • 6:25, Chauncey has his shot affected by Haywood but he recovers and kicks the ball out to Anthony for three.
  • 5:53, Denver picks up their fifth team foul.  Mavericks are in the bonus the rest of the way. 
  • 4:56, Kidd falling to the floor, still picks up the steal, and shuffles the ball off to Butler to kick off the fast break.
  • This is only the second game this year where Marion has passed the 20-point mark. 
  • Like that the Dallas announcers are saying that Andersen has “Normal Guy Hair”.  I never expected that someone would look better with the faux-hawk.
  • Marion can’t hit a scope to end the quarter and the Maverick lead is cut to 10. 

4th Quarter:
  • Beaubois is back in and picking up the hot hand, JR Smith. 
  • Roddy makes two big mistakes in a row, ignores the shot clock and then commits a foul. 
  • Dallas picks up three fouls in around 59 seconds.  Can’t like that type of defense.
  • Quick timeout comes with only 2 minutes gone in the quarter.  Dallas needed it as Denver has pulled to 75-82.
  • Beaubois has played about 12 minutes and hasn’t looked super great running the offense.  He has ability to change the game but can he be a point guard?
  • 8:55, Ball gets stuck on the Nuggets offensive possession but the Mavericks are called for a foul. 
  • 8:27, Kidd is always looking up the floor for the open man, hits a streaking Terry who picks up a basket thanks to a goal-tend.
  • Back-to-back fast-break baskets for the Mavericks put Dallas back in a comfortable position.
  • Nowitzki gets a block on Billups and then hustle back to hit a three on the offensive end.  Mavericks are firing on all cylinders. 
  • 5:53, Haywood cleans up the offensive glass. 
  • 4:31, Dirk with four threes tonight in tonight’s game.  That brings the Mavs total up to 11. 
  • The Mavericks are absolutely on fire from the three-point line in the fourth. Threes by Terry and Nowitzki back-to-back.  Funny thing, nothing is falling in the paint for the Mavs.
  • 2:11, Nowitzki picks up the second triple double of his career and comes out of the game. 
  • Beaubois gets a little bit more time to run the point.  He seems to be more comfortable dribbling when the win is not hanging in the balance. 

Some Choice Statistics:

  • There is only person to make more threes in a game this year, JR Smith (10).
  • Malik Allen gets his first three-pointer of the year.
  • Mavericks bench gets outscored 27-11 by the Nuggets bench in the first half.  Nuggets bench also outscored their starting five.

Final Thoughts:

The Mavericks proved that they can be effective at attacking the paint but also demonstrated that the drive and kick is a deadly maneuver.  When the Mavericks are rolling, they are unstoppable.  We know the Mavericks can handle adversity but they have problems with doing it consistently and that could lead to their demise in the playoffs.