Mar 29, 2010 - For more on the chase for the number two seed, check out our Mavericks site, Mavs Moneyball, and our Nuggets site, Denver Stiffs.
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki recorded the second triple-double of his career, notching 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Dallas posted a thorough 109-93 drubbing of Denver in a battle of Western Conference powers.
Shawn Marion chipped in 21 points, while Jason Terry scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter for the Mavericks, whose three wins over the last four games have catapulted them into second place in the West, 1 1/2 games ahead of Denver.
Jason Kidd finished with eight points, 10 assists and six boards for the victors, who shot 12-of-22 from behind the arc in the rout.
The Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony had 10 points on a woeful 3-of-16 shooting effort and appeared to limp into the locker room late in the fourth quarter. J.R. Smith netted 27 points in the loss, Denver's fifth in six games.
Dallas scored nine straight in the early going, and back-to-back Marion buckets put the hosts on top 13-4 less than five minutes in.
The Mavs led 31-23 after 12 minutes and went into halftime on top 55-46.
Another strong start out of the break saw the Mavs take a 68-51 advantage, as two Kidd free throws capped an 11-3 run with 7 1/2 minutes left in the frame.
Smith kept the Nuggets relatively close, hitting a late three to get within 79-69 heading to the fourth, and then a runner to cut it to 82-75 with just over 10 minutes left.
Terry then scored eight points on a 15-4 flurry to put the game away, as Brendan Haywood's putback of a Kidd miss provided a healthy 97-79 cushion with under six minutes left that was more than enough for the win.
Dallas won the season series, 2-1...Denver is now 5-7 with Adrian Dantley running the show in place of George Karl, who continues to undergo treatment for neck and throat cancer...On his 31st point of the game, Nowitzki passed Hall of Famer Bob Pettit (20,880) for 28th of the all-time NBA scoring list...Haywood and Caron Butler each scored 10 points to go with seven rebounds for Dallas...Nene ended with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Chauncey Billups had 11 points on 3-of-14 shooting.