The Dallas Mavericks entered Sunday night's matchup with the Denver Nuggets looking for similar results to Friday night, where Dallas blew out Denver 127-99. Despite being without Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon for a second straight game, the depleted Nuggets put up much more of a fight at American Airlines Center this time around.
After a seesaw fourth quarter, the Nuggets shocked the Mavs by pulling away with a 98-97 victory as Luka Doncic's last-second heave from deep hit off the iron. The Mavs fall to 9-7 on the year, and the Nuggets improved to 10-6.
It wasn't a pleasant night for Doncic, as he finished with just 22 points on 7-16 shooting in 36 minutes. He was frustrated when he wasn't getting a whistle, and that seemed to affect his performance throughout most of the game. Doncic also had nine rebounds, eight assists and a steal.
In a surprising turn of events, Josh Green led the Mavs in scoring with a career-high 23 points off the bench on 8-9 shooting, including 6-7 from deep. He was a +13 on the night while bringing the constant energy every time Dallas needed it.
Davis Bertans had himself a nice game as well, as he finished with 15 points and two assists in 14 minutes off the bench while shooting 5-7 overall and 4-5 from deep. Bertans has hit the ground running since coming back from his knee effusion injury that kept him sidelined at the start of the season.
Dallas had no answer for Denver guard Bones Hyland, who led all scorers with 29 points on 10-21 shooting and six assists. Although Michael Porter Jr. only scored 14 points on the night, he hit the go-ahead 3-pointer for the Nuggets in the final minute that essentially sealed the game.
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An odd situation occurred at AAC on Sunday, as Doncic nailed a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to put the Mavs up 59-52 ... or so we thought. After further review, Doncic apparently stepped out of bounds, so Denver got two seconds before officially starting the third quarter. Vlatko Cancer made the most of those two seconds, as he hit a desperation half-court 3-pointer to change the momentum of the game.
It was truly one of the more odd situations we've ever witnessed in an NBA game. ... and in the big picture, it ended up hurting the Mavs deeply. Dallas will also look back at the nine free throws it missed (12-21) in a one-point loss.
To add insult to injury – quite literally – the Mavs lost Spencer Dinwiddie late in the game to a shoulder injury that forced him to sub out. Stay tuned for updates on his situation as we find out more information.
Next up, the Mavs will head out on a tough three-game road trip against the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks.
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