DENVER (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and the Dallas Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the undermanned Denver Nuggets 105-95 on Wednesday night.
Vince Carter added 17 points, and Shawn Marion and Rodrigue Beaubois added 13 points each for the Mavericks, who defeated Denver for the first time in five tries.
Rudy Fernandez and Al Harrington each had 17 points off the bench to lead the Nuggets, who lost their fourth straight. Nene had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Ty Lawson had 16 points along with 10 assists for Denver.
Arron Afflalo (left ankle) and Nene (left heel) returned to the Nuggets’ lineup after sitting out Monday night’s loss to Houston, but Denver was still without leading scorer Danilo Gallinari (left ankle), along with Timofey Mozgov (left ankle). Corey Brewer took a leave of absence to be with his family this week following the death of his father.
Dallas was without Jason Kidd, who missed his sixth game because of a strained right calf. He remains day to day.
Carter hit successive 3-pointers, putting Dallas up 81-64 with 6:08 left in the third quarter. Denver, though, outscored the Mavericks 12-4 heading into the fourth quarter, pulling to within 87-78.
Afflalo made a basket for the Nuggets to start the final period, but the Mavericks responded with a layup by Brandan Wright and a jumper by Nowitzki and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
The Mavericks led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, but settled for a 64-53 advantage at halftime. The Nuggets closed the gap by scoring nine of the last 13 points in the second quarter, including a pair of baskets by Fernandez.
Dallas was in front 33-25 after the first period and pulled out to 58-41 lead after Carter hit a baseline jumper with 3:57 left in the second quarter. The surge was fueled in part by a 10-2 burst by Dallas earlier in the second quarter that included a breakaway dunk by Wright.
Notes: Dallas’ 64 first-half points were two off its season high and a season high by a Nuggets’ opponent. … Marion is the only Mavericks player to start all 26 games. … Denver was held under 100 points for the 12th time this season and dropped to 4-8 in those games. … Chris Andersen made his first start of the season for Denver in place of the injured Mozgov.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)