DALLAS (AP) – Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets started slowly against Dallas this time. They beat the Mavericks again anyway.
Lawson had 19 points after a quiet first half, Nate Robinson scored 11 straight for Denver in the fourth quarter and the Nuggets pulled away from Dallas 110-96 Monday night, their second win over the Mavericks in three days.
Robinson finished with 17 points, all but two in the second half, and Lawson had 14 after halftime and finished with a game-high 11 assists as the Nuggets handed Dallas its first home loss in eight games this season.
J.J. Hickson led Denver with 22 points – including 10 during a first-quarter run that put his team ahead for good – andKenneth Faried added 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Nuggets won their second road game.
“It’s tough to beat any team back-to-back,” said Hickson, who was 8 of 11 from the field and had eight rebounds. “We knew they were 7-0 (at home) and we wanted to come in and give them their only loss.”
In Saturday’s meeting in Denver, the Nuggets took a big lead early and had to hold on late for the win after Dallas went in front. This time, they had to dig out of an early hole.
Denver fell behind by 11 less than 6 minutes in before going on a 21-6 run to take a 29-25 lead late in the first quarter. The Nuggets didn’t trail again.
After going up by as many as 12 in the second quarter, the Nuggets started the third with a 16-6 run powered by Lawson. He opened the second half with a jumper and finished the spurt with a 3-pointer for a 72-57 lead.
“They did to us what we want to do to them, come out third quarter and hit first and try to take the life out of them,” said Dallas’ Vince Carter, who had eight points on 3-of-13 shooting. “And it was the opposite.”
The Mavericks were within four early in the fourth quarter when Robinson scored 11 straight Denver points. Robinson hit consecutive 3-pointers to push Denver’s lead back to 10, then capped his run with another from long range for a 100-87 lead.
“Well, he can do that,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “That’s why we brought him in, to give us some scoring punch off the bench and give us some energy off the bench. And when he gets hot like that, you ride him.”
The Nuggets finished at 55 percent from the field and were the third straight opponent to shoot at least 50 percent in Dallas. The Mavericks beat the first two – Houston (55 percent) and Utah (50 percent).
“I just think that with time we are only going to get better,” Robinson said. “We are just trying to stay under the radar and win as many games as we can.”
All five starters were in double figures for the Mavericks, but a bench that is normally their strength scored just 21 points on 8-of-27 shooting.
“We didn’t have much competitive energy tonight, and the guys on the bench are the guys that have got to give it to us,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “This is a coaching loss. I didn’t have these guys ready to play.”
Nowitzki moved ahead of Garnett with two free throws with 3:03 left in the second quarter. Garnett, who didn’t play Monday, is at 25,352 points.
Kobe Bryant is the only active player ahead of Nowitzki, who has 25,361. The Los Angeles Lakers star, who is still recovering after tearing an Achilles tendon last April, is fourth all-time at 31,617 points.
Nowitzki, an 11-time All-Star and the 2007 NBA MVP, has passed Jerry West, Reggie Miller and Garnett since Nov. 12.
NOTES: Shawn Marion had 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the 421st double-double of his career. … Darrell Arthur, who played high school basketball in Dallas, put the Nuggets ahead for good at 27-25 on a jumper late in the first quarter. … Nowitzki’s free throw streak ended at 35 with a miss in the fourth quarter. He passed Miller for 13th on the career free throw list. Nowitzki has 6,241 free throws to 6,237 for Miller. … The Nuggets made nine straight shots before Robinson missed a 3-pointer trying to beat the first-quarter buzzer.
By SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer
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