Nuggets, 'Melo run past Mavericks in Game 2
The Dallas Mavericks toughened up and clamped down Tuesday night, and it still wasn't enough to beat the high-flying Denver Nuggets.
Carmelo Anthony led another fourth-quarter blitz by the Nuggets, who overcame Dirk Nowitzki's 35 points and more hustle and muscle from the Mavericks for a 117-105 victory.
The Nuggets are up 2-0 in their best-of-seven series.
Anthony scored 15 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Nene scored 25, J.R. Smith had 21 and Chauncey Billups 18 for the Nuggets, who won for the 15th straight time at the Pepsi Center, where they haven't lost since March 11.
The series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 Saturday night, and the Mavericks can only hope they're going to be as good on their home court as the Nuggets were on theirs.
"It's kind of shocking we have three days off," said Nuggets coach George Karl, who would much prefer to keep the momentum going by playing sooner.
The Mavericks are 17-1 at home since the All-Star break, but that one loss was to Denver.
The Mavericks now face the daunting task of having to win four of five against the Nuggets, a team they're 0-6 against this season and one that is playing with so much confidence and efficiency.
"They've held serve," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "We go back to Dallas and we've got to do the same. We've got a few days to regroup and work on some things."
The Nuggets, whose six postseason wins have come by an average of 24.8 points, broke open a back-and-forth game by starting the fourth quarter on a 16-2 run, sparked by Anthony's 10 points, to take a 102-85 lead.
"We're just an explosive team in that way," Billups said. "That's just kind of what we do. That's who we've been all year."