Ty Lawson helps Nuggets beat Mavericks for 5th straight win
The Denver Nuggets escaped with Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki sitting out Wednesday night. They know they will have to deal with the former MVP when they meet again Friday night in Dallas.
Ty Lawson had 29 points and 12 assists and the Nuggets beat the slumping Dallas Mavericks 114-107.
Kenneth Faried scored four of his 22 points down the stretch and grabbed 14 rebounds to help the Nuggets run their winning streak to five.
"We’ve got to keep building on it," forward J.J. Hickson said. "This game means nothing if you don’t win the next one."
The next one is against the Mavericks in Dallas against some rested stars. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle gave three of his best players the night off after an overtime victory Tuesday night in Sacramento.
Tyson Chandler and Rajon Rondo, as well as Nowitzki, rested while Raymond Felton, Richard Jefferson and Greg Smith started. It was the first starts for Felton and Smith.
"I thought all things considered we did a lot of good things," Carlisle said. "But we had too many lapses and mistakes and the rebounding deficit was one of the big problems again."
The starters struggled for much of the night, leaving the bench to keep the Mavericks in the game. The Dallas reserves scored 62 points, led by J.J. Barea with a season-high 17.
Richard Jefferson scored 16 points for Dallas, which has lost three of four.
"All year our strength has been our depth," Jefferson said. "We had everyone on the bench score in double figures. The bench outscored the starters. We take pride in that."
Jefferson and Chandler Parsons awoke in the fourth to bring the Mavericks back. The pair led Dallas on a 15-5 run that cut it to three late in the game. Devin Harris missed two tying 3-pointers, and Faried hit two free throws and a layup to make it 108-101 with 1:19 left.
Faried also had a block at the rim on rookie Dwight Powell with Denver leading 104-101.
"I was able to get my hand in there and stop him from getting to the basket," Faried said. "At the end of the game I was in that zone. I was able to help defensively and help rebounding. I made my free throws and I finished at the rim."
The Nuggets, like Dallas, had only 10 available players after Tuesday’s trade that sent guard Nate Robinson to Boston for Jameer Nelson. Lawson played all but 3:37 of the game to help get Denver (18-20) closer to .500.
"I knew I was going to play at least 40 unless Erick Green had a good night," Lawson said. "Probably got winded in the second quarter."
Denver took control of the game early in the third quarter. After Parsons’ 3-pointer made it 61-55 the Nuggets scored 13 straight points to take a 74-55 lead midway through the period.
Dallas got within eight after a 12-1 run but Denver led 90-78 going into the fourth.
"We gave ourselves a chance to win the game," Barea said. "It was great for the team in the long run."
NO REST FOR THE WEARY
Dallas guard Monta Ellis was 1 for 11 from the field a night after logging 40 minutes in Sacramento. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
"I should have rested Ellis. I should have just insisted that he didn’t play," Carlisle said. "He looked tired. He couldn’t get into the game. In the third quarter I just said, `Hey, enough."
Mavericks: Carlisle said he doesn’t think Rondo’s left achilles soreness nor Chandler’s ankle injury will be a long-term problem. He cited the heavy minutes both played Tuesday as reasons for sitting them and Nowitzki against Denver. … Dallas in the midst of playing 14 of 19 games on the road.
Nuggets: Nelson should join the team Thursday and could play Friday. … Coach Brian Shaw said F Danilo Gallinari (right knee) and C JaVale McGee (left leg soreness) could return to the lineup by the end of January. Guard Randy Foye (right quad strain) may play next week.
Mavericks: Host Denver on Friday night.
Nuggets: At Dallas on Friday night.