DENVER --The Dallas Mavericks had their four-game winning streak snapped Saturday night at the Pepsi Center when they dropped a 102-100 decision to the Denver Nuggets.
It was the third game in four days for the Mavs, who are now 9-5 overall and 2-5 on the road. The Mavs also are only 1-4 on the second leg of a back-to-back.
The Mavs now open a two-game homestand Monday at 7:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center against these same Nuggets.
Dallas missed out on two chances to send the game into overtime. First, Monta Ellis missed a drive with 7.1 seconds to go.
Then, Dirk Nowitzki failed to connect on an off-balanced jumper at the buzzer.
Nowitzki hit consecutive buckets to give the Mavs a 100-98 lead with 2:02 to go. Dallas had a chance to pad its lead, but Nowitzki missed a jumper.
Randy Foye then nailed a three-pointer as Denver went up, 101-100, with 1:09 left. Ellis and Nowitkzi then missed consecutive shots, and Kenneth Faried then spilt two free throws, giving the Nuggets a 102-100 lead with 14.7 seconds left.
Nowitzki paced the Mavs with 27 points, Ellis scored 25, Vince Carter tallied 16 and Jose Calderon had 11.
Coach Rick Carlisle wasn't around to see the ending after getting ejected with two quick technical fouls with 5:14 left in the second period and the Mavs behind, 49-33.
But the Mavs rallied and went on an 18-7 run to get within 76-75 with 3:25 left in the third quarter on a basket by Carter.
The Mavs eventually took an 89-88 lead with 7:31 remaining in the game on a jumper by Ellis. It was the Mavs' first lead since they held a 16-15 edge with 4:56 left in the opening quarter.
Nowitzki now is only six points from passing Brooklyn's Kevin Garnett for 14th place on the NBA''s all-time scoring list. Garnett has 25,348 career points, while Nowitzki has 25,343.
-- Dwain Price
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