Nuggets pour in buckets as Mavs begin year 0-2
Posted on December 26, 2011 at 11:30 PM
Updated Tuesday, Dec 27 at 12:35 PM
DALLAS — Ty Lawson scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half and the Denver Nuggets faced little resistance on their way to a 115-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
The reigning champion Mavericks were drubbed for a second straight game, routinely giving up easy baskets in both. They allowed Denver to score 20 unanswered points in the second quarter — prompting boos during a particularly lousy part of that drought — and were down by 33 late in the third quarter.
Denver, playing its opener, saw how porous Dallas' defense was in its opener against Miami and quickly took advantage. The Nuggets scored on 19 of their 25 possessions in the second quarter. They made only 12 baskets in the second half, yet still cruised to victory.
Andre Miller and Al Harrington each scored 18 points. Danilo Gallinari had 15 points and seven rebounds, and Arron Afflalo scored 11.
Lawson made 10 of 15 shots, going 3 of 6 on 3-pointers. He also had four assists.
Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 20 points, and didn't play in the fourth quarter for the second straight game, yet another indication of how thoroughly the Mavs have been drubbed.
Sean Williams — the 13th guy Dallas used — scored 12 points in 11 energetic minutes. He played so hard that as he checked out of the game, he threw up in front of the Dallas bench, drawing all sorts of laughs from teammates and team owner Mark Cuban. Fans nearby gave him a standing ovation as ushers mopped up the mess. It was symbolic of both the lack of a training camp to get players in shape after the lockout, and the way Dallas' season is going.
Without Tyson Chandler anchoring the defense, the Mavs are routinely giving up 30 points per quarter. Coach Rick Carlisle is trying to find a lineup combination that will click on either end of the court. As bad as the defense was, Dallas also went 9:52 between baskets over the middle two quarters, missing 14 straight shots.
The boos came with 1:08 left in the second quarter, when a steal near midcourt turned into a three-on-none fast break. The Nuggets had enjoyed so many easy baskets at that point that they didn't even bother doing anything fancy, with Gallinari softly tossing the ball to Harrington for a routine dunk that made it 65-41.
Jason Kidd scored 12 points, Vince Carter scored 11 and Rodrigue Beaubois scored 10. Aside from Nowitzki and Kidd, the other three starters (Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood and Delonte West) scored a combined 11 points.
Lamar Odom scored three points, making only 1 of 10 shots.
West started at shooting guard instead of Carter, who started on opening night. Jason Terry replaced West to start the second half.
NOTES: Dallas is 0-2 for the first time since 2006-07, which is also the last time the Mavs were coming off a trip to the NBA finals. That team actually went 0-4, yet wound up winning 67 games. ... Denver got Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer in a trade from Dallas during training camp. Fernandez scored eight points and Brewer had five. ... The Mavs forced a shot-clock violation on the opening possession of the second half and drew one of the biggest cheers of the night. They ended up keeping the Nuggets below 30 points in the quarter, yet Denver grew its lead anyway.