Anthony’s 27 points lead Nuggets past Mavericks
DALLAS – The Denver Nuggets got their payback on the Dallas Mavericks with deadeye 3-point shooting.
Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points and the Nuggets went 13 for 21 from beyond the arc in a 103-92 victory on Saturday night.
Chauncey Billups added 18 points and Al Harrington contributed 14 points and eight rebounds for Denver.
Jason Terry scored 26 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 23 for the Mavericks, who have lost two of their first three home games.
The teams met in Denver on Wednesday night, with Dallas pulling out a 102-101 victory behind Nowitzki’s 35 points. This time, the Nuggets pulled away in the fourth quarter after it was tied at 79 after three.
Anthony converted all four of his 3-point attempts and finished 9 for 17 from the field.
“I just wanted to get out in the open court and get running and make some easy shots,” Anthony said.
Anthony hit three 3-pointers in the final 3:47 and scored 15 points in the third, but was on the bench for most of the Nuggets’ 12-4 spurt to start the fourth. The run started and ended with dunks by Harrington, giving Denver a 91-83 lead with 7:23 left, and the Mavericks never recovered.
Terry had one point and Nowitzki went scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets placed more second-half emphasis on stopping Terry, who was 9 for 10 from the floor and scored 23 in the first half.
“We were just trying to give him more heat,” Denver coach George Karl said. “When he was in pick-and-rolls we tried to put two on him and he’s so quick it’s hard to do that. But somehow he had some open looks and just missed.”
Dallas had 21 turnovers, eight in the final quarter. Nowitzki had a game-high seven turnovers.
“It was careless,” Terry said. “It’s got to stop. You have that many in the fourth quarter, we’re taking opportunities away from ourselves. It’s not one guy, it’s everybody. We gave (a game) back after winning up there.”
Before the game, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle talked about how difficult it is to sweep a team in such a short time frame. A few hours later, the Nuggets made Carlisle a prophet.
When the teams played Wednesday night in Denver, the Mavericks made extensive use of zone defenses and the Nuggets converted only 10 for 28 from the arc. This time, Dallas had few defensive answers.
“They’re a unique team with their shot-making ability,” Carlisle said. “They can rise up on their 3-point shooting. It was a big turnaround from the other game.”
The Nuggets were ready for Dallas’ zone defense after Wednesday night’s experience.
“The other day, we were caught by surprise by their zone,” Anthony said. “We wanted to be active in the paint and get open shots.”
Harrington handled Nowitzki most of the second half. The Nuggets also threw some double-teams at Dallas’ top scorer.
“The first game, we let Dirk do too much one-on-one,” Anthony said.
Denver clung to a 53-52 advantage at the break behind 6-for-9 3-point shooting.
The Nuggets went with a small lineup including 6-foot-9 Sheldon Williams as the tallest starter, and Denver assumed a 26-24 lead after one quarter as Dallas committed six turnovers in the first 12 minutes, 10 in the first half.
Late in the second quarter, Anthony got into a playful exchange with some heckling fans. Anthony was laughing during the give-and-take.
Denver was coming off Friday night’s 111-104 home victory over the Clippers. The Mavericks had been idle since Wednesday night.
Notes: Denver C Nene missed his third straight game with a strained left groin. Fs Kenyon Martin and Chris Anderson are out indefinitely while recovering from knee surgeries. … Dallas began a stretch of 15 home games over a 22-game span.
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