January 9, 2020 / 3:31 AM / 12 days ago

Jokic outduels Doncic late as Nuggets top Mavs

EditorsNote: Minor tweaks throughout

Jan 8, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Nikola Jokic scored 33 points, including a go-ahead layup with 7.9 seconds left, and the visiting Denver Nuggets beat the Dallas Mavericks 107-106 on Wednesday night.

Jokic added seven assists and six rebounds. Jerami Grant scored 15, Jamal Murray had 14, while Mason Plumlee and Malik Beasley scored 10 each for Denver.

Luka Doncic had 27 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, Dwight Powell scored 16, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15, Seth Curry 14 and Maxi Kleber had 13 for the Mavericks.

Dallas played its fifth straight game without Kristaps Porzingis (knee), while the Nuggets were without two starters, guard Will Barton (personal reasons) and Paul Millsap (knee).

The game was tied at 101 when the Mavs’ Dorian Finney-Smith hit a 3-pointer with 2:57 left, and Jokic missed on the other end. Hardaway’s bucket made it a five-point lead, but Jokic hit a shot in the lane, and Grant hit two free throws to make it 106-105 with 1:27 to play.

After trading misses, Denver got the ball back with 23 seconds left. Jokic got the ball in the post, backed down Finney-Smith and hit a layup with 7.9 seconds left.

The Mavericks called timeout, but the Nuggets trapped Doncic to force him to pass, and their scrambling defense prevented Dallas from getting a shot up before the horn.

The Mavericks opened up a seven-point lead in the third quarter, but Jokic got hot, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and feeding Beasley on another shot from deep to rally the Nuggets to tie it at 86.

Jokic scored nine of his 21 third-quarter points in a span of 2:12.

Justin Jackson and Curry combined to hit a trio of 3-pointers to allow Dallas to take an 89-86 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Kleber scored the first four points of the final period to stretch the lead to 93-86, but with the starters on the bench, Denver rallied to take a 97-96 lead on Michael Porter Jr.’s dunk.

Beasley hit another 3-pointer to make it 100-98 Nuggets, and Curry answered with a long jumper to tie it, where it stayed entering the final five minutes.

The Nuggets never led by more than two points. The Mavericks, who led by as many as 10, held a 32-27 edge after one, and a 59-56 lead at the half.

—Field Level Media

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