Mavs blast Nuggets; Keep Hold of Second Seed in West
Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double, and the Mavericks maintained the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a 109-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
Nowitzki hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range and went 16 for 17 from the free throw line as the Mavericks never trailed again after giving up the game’s first 2 points to Denver on Nene’s free throws.
Shawn Marion added 21 points and Terry punched in 15 for Dallas, which increased its conference lead over Denver to 1 1-2 games.
Marion also spent the whole night playing suffocating defense on Carmelo Anthony; who was held to 3 of 16 shooting and a season-low 10 points; well below his season average of 28.9 points per game.
The Nuggets lost for the fifth time in six games and, coupled with Utah’s win over New York later Monday night, fell out of first place in the Northwest Division. The Jazz now hold a one-game lead over Denver.
Dallas and Denver have both already clinched playoff spots with the Mavs making the post-season for the 10th consecutive season now.
The Western Conference playoff race continues to grow narrower each day as seeds 2-8 are only separated by 4 games; with teams like the Suns, Thunder, Blazers and Spurs breathing down on the Mavs, Jazz and Nuggets.