The Mavericks got off to a fast start against the Nuggets, but yet another disastrous third quarter kept this from being an easy Mavericks victory. Instead, things ended up as a double-overtime disaster that saw Dirk play 38 minutes.
Dallas scored 73 first half points, thanks to 62.8% shooting from the floor and 38 points from the bench. Dirk led everyone at the half with 15 points in just 14 minutes of game time, while Amare Stoudemire and Devin Harris each contributed 12 first-half points.
Probably the most impressive thing about the first half was this stat: 20 assists. J.J. Barea had seven first-half assists, while Raymond Felton, starting in place of the inactive Rajon Rondo, handed out four dimes and Monta and Devin each dished out three. The ball was moving well and the Mavs were scoring at will because of it.
The play of the first half came at the hands of Richard Jefferson, who turned back the clock with this thunderdunk.
Richard Jefferson with the Denver altitude. pic.twitter.com/qhA62JmIgt
— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) April 11, 2015
Then came the second half, more specifically the third quarter, a quarter that Dallas has basically refused to play all season. Denver outscored Dallas 37-20 in the third, cutting the Mavericks' lead to four headed into the fourth. Denver continued the onslaught, taking their first lead of the game with under three minutes remaining.Richard Jefferson and Wilson Chandler traded threes, and an offensive foul on Tyson Chandler gave Denver the ball up one, with two minutes left.
Kenneth Faried put Denver up two with 43.1 seconds left on a vicious dunk, forcing Dallas to call their final timeout. Some nice ball movement on Dallas' ensuing possession resulted in a Richard Jefferson layup to tie the game at 121. Dallas seemed to gain possession with a chance to win, with 6 seconds left on the clock, when Monta took a rebound and began to dribble out. However, a well placed hand from Wilson Chandler forced Monta to bobble ball and lose it out of bounds.
A failed Denver attempt to win it at the buzzer meant that two teams who would have benefited just as much by letting things end in a tie had to play an extra five minutes. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE. A brick by Ty Lawson followed by a missed 34-foot fadeaway from Monta meant that we weren't done yet. A second overtime was on the way.
That would be the end of the night for the Dallas' starters though, as Carlisle made the prudent move and sent J.J. Barea, Ray Felton, Aminu, Charlie V. and Sarge out to start the second OT. This would not spell disaster for the Mavericks however, because Raymond Felton, a.k.a. basketball god, along with his merry men, would fight tenaciously in the final five minutes. A Felton layup gave Dallas a 144-143 lead with 1.5 seconds left.
Denver got the ball in to Faried with a chance to win, but Felton, yes, Felton, altered Faried's shot and it fell harmlessly to the floor. That's how this game ended. This twilight zone, nothing-to-play-for game ended with Felton hitting the game winner and making the final defensive stop.
Felton finished with 13 points, one of seven Mavericks in double digits. Three Mavs eclipsed the 20-point mark, Dirk with 25, Jefferson with 24, Harris with 21.
Gallinari led the way for Denver with 47 points, shooting 7-for-12 from deep. The Nuggets outrebounded Dallas 61-49
Dallas' next game is against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Sunday.