Luka Doncic finishes with 27, Mavs fall short to Nuggets 107-106
DALLAS (AP) - Nikola Jokic scored 26 of his 33 points in the second half, including the winning basket with 7.9 seconds left, and the Denver Nuggets pulled out a 107-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Jokic backed down Dorian Finney-Smith on the right side of the lane and got a favorable bounce on his left-handed layup. Jokic, who was coming off a career-high 47 points Monday in a win over Atlanta, scored his first points with 4:31 to play in the first half.
On the Mavericks' final possession, Finney-Smith's pass from the baseline to Tim Hardaway Jr. was off the mark.
Luka Doncic led Dallas with 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. The Mavericks played their fifth straight game without Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness), who is second on the team in scoring and rebounding.
The Nuggets were missing two starters. Will Barton, second on the team in rebounding, missed the game for personal reasons. Paul Millsap sat out with a bruised left knee. Their substitutes in the lineup were Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig, each making his fourth start of the season.
Dallas was up 32-27 after one quarter despite leading by 10 with 42.7 seconds left in the period. Jokic was 0-for-3 shooting in the quarter but had five assists.
The teams alternated six 3-pointers in the final 2:01 of the third quarter, leaving the Mavericks ahead 89-86 going into the fourth. ... Doncic went into play leading the NBA in first-quarter scoring at 9.9 points per game. He scored nine this time on 4-for-11 shooting, including 1 of 4 on 3-pointers while playing the entire period.
Nuggets: Having completed a five-game road trip, Denver will begin a three-game homestand Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mavericks: Friday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers will be the fifth on a six-game homestand, their longest of the season. The Lakers have won two of three previous meetings this season, including the one played in Dallas.