Mavericks vs Nuggets Preview: Dallas Looks To Avoid A Sweep As It Continues Home Stand


Nov 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets shooting guard Wilson Chandler (21) guards Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) in the fourth quarter at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 102-100. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS MAVERICKS (41-28) vs DENVER NUGGETS- March 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center

Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks will try to get back on track as they play for the third time on their eight-game home stand as they host the Denver Nuggets on March 21. Game starts at 8:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest with Mark Followill, Derek Harper and Jeff “Skin” Wade.

Nowitzki scored 27 points vs the T’Wolves on March 19, but had to take 27 shots to do so, hitting 11. He missed the final shot that would’ve gave the Mavericks the lead as Dallas fell 123-122 in overtime.

Dallas was down 50-28 in the second quarter before storming a comeback, but could never really get over the hump. Monta Ellis scored 12 points in the final 3:50 of regulation, including three 3-pointers to force overtime at 113-113.

The Mavericks scored the first five points to lead OT 118-113, but Kevin Love and Minnesota was able to come back and hold off for their third win of the season over Dallas, winning the season series.

Now the Mavs will host the Nuggets and look to avoid the season sweep. Denver has defeated the Mavericks by two and 14 points before a 115-110 victory in the previous match up on March 5. Nowitzki scored 27 point in that contest.

Denver has won two straight and four of five. The Nuggets are coming off a 110-100 win on March 17 over the Clippers and a 118-109 win over Detroit on March 19. Both were at home. The Nuggets are 2-5 in their last seven road contests.

Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler are expected to return Friday night after missing some time with injury.

Denver hasn’t sweep the season series with the Mavs since the 2008-09 season.

Dallas remains at 41-28 and looks to pass last season’s win total. With 13 games left, the Mavs still have a chance at a 50-win season for the first time since the 2010-11 championship season. Prior to that, the Mavs had won 50 games for 11 consecutive seasons.

50-40-90 Club: Dirk has struggled from the field as of late, including missing all seven attempts from three vs the T’Wolves. He’s still 12th in the NBA at 21.5 points per game, but since dropping 31 on 12-of-14 vs the Jazz, Dirk is shooting 41 percent and 33 percent from downtown in the last three games. Dirk is still averaging 21 points a game in that span. He leads the league in free-throw percentage at 91.7 percent, but has dropped below the line at 49.1 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three.

West Update

5. Portland Trail Blazers (45-24)

6. Golden State Warriors– 1.5 games back

7. Memphis Grizzlies– 4

8. Dallas Mavericks– 4 (0.003 percentage points back of MEM)

9. Phoenix Suns– 5.5

Season Series: The Mavericks have had their struggles with the Nuggets, losing all three match ups of the season and six of the last seven meetings.

Game 1- Dirk had 27 points, but missed a shot at the end that would have sent the game into overtime. Randy Foye made a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minutes. Foye connected on his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 1:11 left, and the Denver Nuggets hung on 102-100 on Nov. 23 in Denver. Ty Lawson scored 20 points to lead the Nuggets while Kenneth Faried had 18 points and 14 rebounds. Monta Ellis added 25 points. Coach Rick Carlisle was ejected during the first half.

Game 2- 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 on Nov. 25 in Big D. Ellis had a game-high 22 points while Dirk added 18 points. Nowitzki had passed Kevin Garnett on the all-time scoring list.

Game 3- Wilson Chandler scored 21 points, Lawson had 20, and the Nuggets snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Mavericks 115-110 on March 5 in Denver. The Nuggets handed Dallas its third loss of the season in the series. Dirk had a game-high 27 points on 13-of-20 shooting while Brandan Wright and Vince Carter added 18 and 17, respectively. Dallas was down as much as 20 in the fourth quarter and 15 with 1:12 left before scoring 13 of the final 16 points to make it respectable.

JOSE FOR THREE: Jose Calderon is one of the leaders this season from behind the arc. He has hit at least two 3-pointers in a season-best seven games in a row. Calderon is 4th in the NBA at 44.9 percent from three and has made a career-high 164 3-pointers, good for 7th-best. The 164 makes are doubled his previous high with 13 games remaining. He also ranks 8th-best with 2.4 threes a game. In this seven-game span, which is currently the third-longest active streak, Calderon is shooting 17-of-36 (47.2 percent).