3 observations as Dallas pulls off a blowout win over Denver, 116-115

3 observations as Dallas pulls off a blowout win over Denver, 116-115

The Dallas Mavericks held the Denver Nuggets, winning 116-115 Tuesday night on the road in Denver. It’s hard to imagine a more impressive road win for this Dallas team that has managed just a 2-8 record away from home this season.

Luka Doncic had a “quiet” triple-double, his 52nd, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, but it wasn’t always pretty. Their five turnovers, especially the two in the fourth when Dallas struggled to score and surrendered a 10-point lead late in the frame, were uncharacteristic. It was Tim Hardaway Jr. who led the scoring for Dallas with 29 points, continuing his shooting streak with a 6-for-8 night from deep. It’s just the fifth time this season that a Maverick not named Luka Doncic has led the team in scoring.

Denver’s scoring was typically even with all five starters scoring in double figures, but Aaron Gordon led the way with 27, and Bones Hyland contributed 20 points off the bench.

Despite leading by 10, 111-101 with just 4:07 left, Dallas went cold, going scoreless for nearly four full minutes of play. Denver took a late lead on a Bruce Brown three that gave the Nuggets a 112-111 lead with just 37 seconds left. It was a 3-pointer by Dorian Finney-Smith above the break to answer and break the Mavs’ cold shooting that restored their lead. A pair of nervy free throw exchanges and a missed layup by Jamal Murray sealed Dallas’ best win of the season.

True courage

Things were bleak after Dallas lost five of six games, culminating in a sickening loss at the hands of the lowly Pistons. It left a bad aftertaste even victories against him knicks and Sun couldn’t be completely removed from the Mavs fan palette.

However, this back-to-back win against a team with a strong record at home gives the feeling that the Mavericks may have moved on from the early season funk they found themselves in.

Bless this mess

Good shooting numbers from both teams masked what was a somewhat ugly game. While both teams shot over 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from three, Dallas, normally one of the more ball-safe teams in the league, had an above-average 17 turnovers. A string of turnovers to start the third quarter saw Dallas blow the six-point lead they built at halftime and go down to Denver by two, but a 10-4 run leveled the ship.

The whistles were also hard to ignore. So far this year, teams have averaged about 20 fouls each, and both the Mavs and Nuggets topped that with 32 and 28, respectively, killing much of the flow teams usually develop on good nights of shot

Train until the end

In the depth of their recent mess, Dallas has found itself on the wrong side of some lopsided rebounding battles.

To some extent, the Mavericks’ willingness to move is tied to their ability to make shots. It’s a good sign, then, that even when they struggled down the stretch, with tired legs leading to a lot of missed shots, they didn’t let it keep them off the boards.

Dallas won the rebounding battle in the fourth quarter 10-8.

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