NBA regular season

Mavs hang on late to escape with win over Nuggets

Mavs hang on late to escape with win over Nuggets

CHALLENGE. Mavericks guard Luka Doncic controls the ball as Nuggets forward Bruce Brown guards in the third quarter.

Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Luka Doncis picks up his sixth triple-double of the seasons as the Mavericks survive Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets’ late run

Luka Doncic had 22 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 29 points, and the visiting Dallas Mavericks beat the Denver Nuggets, 116-115, on Tuesday night, December 6 (Wednesday, December 7, Manila time).

Dorian Finney-Smith scored 19 points, including a clutch triple with 17.3 seconds left that put Dallas back on top, 114-112.

Christian Wood added 14, and Spencer Dinwiddie 13 for the Mavericks, who recovered just in time after blowing a 10-point lead in the final quarter.

Aaron Gordon had 27 points and 8 rebounds to pace the Nuggets. Reserve Bones Hyland scored 20 points, Nikola Jokic had 19 along with 8 rebounds, and 8 assists, Bruce Brown and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each had 12 points and Jamal Murray added 11.

Denver trailed 95-90 early in the fourth when Hyland drained a long three-pointer, Wood answered with a layup and Christian Braun hit a corner triple to cut the deficit to 97-96.

Maxi Kleber scored the next 5 points, Hyland answered with a three-pointer, Hardaway fed Finney-Smith for a dunk, and then hit a trey to make it 107-99 with 5:03 left.

The lead grew to 10 with 4:07 remaining, but Brown hit a triple, Jokic converted a three-point play, and Brown made two free throws to cut it to 111-109.

Doncic missed two fadeaway jumpers and Brown drained a corner three-pointer with 37.9 seconds left to cap an 11-0 run. Finney-Smith’s three-pointer with 17.3 seconds left put Dallas back in front, 114-112.

Jokic split a pair of free throws with 12 seconds left, Dinwiddie made two foul shots and Murray sank two with 6.3 seconds left. Hardaway missed two free throws with 4.2 seconds left, but Murray’s desperation heave was off at the final horn.

The Mavericks led by 8 in the first half before the Nuggets got within 61-58 late, but Doncic drained a long 3-pointer to give Dallas a 64-58 lead at halftime.

Denver opened the third quarter with an 11-3 run to go up 69-67, but the Mavericks rallied.

Hardaway sank three free throws before Caldwell-Pope answered with a 13-footer, but Hardaway hit a pair of 3-pointers and Finney-Smith added one from the wing to give Dallas a 79-71 lead.

The Nuggets got within 86-84 on two free throws by Brown with 1:24 left in the period and trailed 91-86 heading into the fourth. –

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