Mavs avoid sweep with Game 4 win over Nuggets
So much for the idea that the Dallas Mavericks would be devastated by the way Game 3 ended. Inspired was more like it.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 of his 44 points in the fourth quarter, including a go-ahead, high-arching shot with 1:05 left in a 119-117 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night that prevented the Mavericks from being swept and injected a whole lot more excitement into this second-round series.
"It was an unbelievable game," Nowitzki said. "We were down the whole game, but were able to come back and win and we've been doing that all season long. ... We've got to go back to Denver and let it all hang out again."
Carmelo Anthony scored a career playoff-best 41 points and hit a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left from nearly the exact spot as his winning basket in the previous game, only this time it left Denver a point shy of a tie.
Dallas' Jason Terry made a free throw with 1.1 seconds left, then missed another - intentionally, he said. Anthony got the rebound but couldn't stop the clock and didn't have enough time to even get off a 90-foot heave. The buzzer sounded and confetti fell as the teams left the court, knowing they will meet again Wednesday night in Denver.
"We're still in control of this going back to our home court," Anthony said. "We'll be ready."
The postgame scene was a little calmer than after the end of Game 3, although it may also wind up getting reviewed by the league office because Denver's Kenyon Martin clearly exchanged words with Dallas owner Mark Cuban. Martin wouldn't talk in the locker room, telling reporters to "go someplace else. All you (expletive) are trying to do is cause trouble."
This game had all the intensity of a Game 7, with seven technical fouls and multiple flagrants. There were video reviews and concerns for the safety of Anthony's girlfriend and Martin's mom, all of it started by the wacky Game 3 finish, then stoked by a silly elbow from Anthony early in the second quarter.