Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nuggets drop Mavs with strong second half

DENVER – A playoff spot wasn’t lost Thursday night. There’s plenty to be worked out over the final 10 games. But like many of the losses over the last five weeks, the Mavericks will look back at the 118-105 loss to the equally hungry Nuggets as another opportunity lost.

The Mavs (45-27) squandered a 15-point lead and saw their lead over Denver (44-28) drop to one game in the Western Conference standings. A win would have essentially given seventh-place Dallas a four-game cushion over No. 9 Denver when the tiebreaker is factored in.

The Nuggets now own that edge by taking the season series 2-1. Up next is Sunday’s visit to No. 8 Golden State. But before the Mavs and Warriors hook up, Golden State travels to Denver on Saturday. Postseason implications are riding on every game.

“It is what it is,” Jerry Stackhouse said. “We just have to keep playing and worry about the next game. This one is over. If it comes down to the last game and the tiebreaker, we can only look at ourselves.”

Playing for the second time without Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs were in control going into the third quarter. The step-up-by-committee approach was working, with Josh Howard, Jason Kidd and Stackhouse leading the way.

It was all Denver after the break, as the Mavs stopped attacking the basket and the Nuggets started. Carmelo Anthony (32 points) and Allen Iverson (31) ignited the rally, as the home team outscored Dallas 58-35 in the second half.

“They just got some momentum and started making their shots,” Avery Johnson said. “We didn’t come out really all that well in the third quarter.”

Read the rest of this story and get more on the game at mavs.com.

1 comment:

Rob Wendling said...

I'm hopeful the trials and adversity the Mavs find themselves facing will only strengthen the team within. Everyone points to Kidd it seems, and unfortunately, if all he is tasked to do is dribble down and hand it to another player, rather than dribble, penetrate and dish, then I'm not certain you don't look to the coach calling the plays seemingly from the sideline. Also, the offense seems to consist of 4 guys around the 3point line, waiting for a handoff from each other. Wouldn't a little more motion throughout the offense only enhance Kidd's skills to find cutters? Disappointing loss, but not the end of the world... Yet?