Both teams were missing some key guys, but the Mavericks were far superior against the injury-decimated Nuggets.
With Danilo Gallinari, Nene and Timofey Mozgov all hurting, the Nuggets trot out some pretty interesting lineups. Against a hot Mavericks team, a Nuggets squad that leaned heavily on the likes of Corey Brewer for offense just wasn't going to hang. This game was over pretty much as soon as it started, with the Mavericks racing ahead to a 9-1 lead and never really looking back en route to a 102-84 home victory.
Dallas got balanced scoring with Shawn Marion leading the way with 16 points. Marion, as he's wont to do, really influenced the game on all fronts. He dominated the offensive glass and led the Mavs with 10 rebounds, led the team with 6 assists, and spent quite a bit of his defensive time guarding -- and stopping -- Ty Lawson. Lawson shot just 1-8 and scored a season-low of just three points against a defender roughly three time his height.
While Denver was unquestionably the team more hampered by injuries, the Mavs weren't at full staff either. Dallas entered the game missing two rotation guards -- Jason Terry rested due to a quad strain (though Rick Carlisle added that he'd miss the next game for personal reasons) while Rodrigue Beaubois was missing to mourn the sudden death of his father. In the second quarter, Delonte West suffered an incredibly gruesome compound fracture of his finger. All of the above elevated Dominique Jones to back-up point guard status, and Jones played 31 fairly mediocre minutes to spell Jason Kidd, who had a great night from downtown (4-6).
Despite all the bad news from the backcourt, Mavs Moneyball saw plenty of reason to be excited about the win:
Tonight, we don’t have to worry about the bad news. This was a thrashing from nearly the beginning. The Nuggets are missing some important pieces too, but as Rick says, this is a no sympathy win. They wouldn’t have felt bad beating us either.
Indeed. Despite all the injuries and a relatively off night from Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs destroyed a good (albeit badly short-handed) team to win their fifth straight. The Nuggets, meanwhile, fell back into the loss column after breaking up their recent skid with consecutive wins against the Pacers and Suns.