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President George W. Bush in attendance as Mavs run past Denver 122-105 on Seats for Soldiers night

Dallas Mavericks

President George W. Bush in attendance as Mavs run past Denver 122-105 on Seats for Soldiers night

 

Dallas ran past Denver, 122-105, on Monday night at the American Airlines center behind one of their top offensive performances of the year.

The Mavericks (7-17), who finished a four-game homestand with a 3-1 record, dropped 39 in the opening frame, their highest-scoring quarter of the season behind 56% shooting and a 50% mark from deep.

The Nuggets, playing without star center Nikola Jokic and Paul Milsap struggled to keep Dallas out of the paint and off the three-point line. The Mavericks routinely slashed and scored and the assault was led by Dennis Smith Jr., who finished with 20 points and had a number of crafty finishes at the hoop.

Denver came into the contest with a 10-2 record at home but a 3-7 mark on the road, and had been outscored by an average of 18 points per game in those losses. Dallas looked to be on pace to continue that trend as the Mavericks took a 64-47 lead into the break.

Despite the slow start, Denver rallied with a 35-point quarter to cut the lead to 88-80 in the third behind an explosive output from Will Barton who put in 13 points in the frame.

Dallas finished shooting 57% from the field and 46.2% from deep. Yogi Ferrell had a solid bounce-back effort with 16 points. Dirk Nowitzki had nine points, Devin Harris had 14 and Wesley Matthews had 15.

Harrison Barnes logged 22 points and 10 rebounds for his second 20-10 game of the season. Rick Carlisle said Barnes’ offensive game was on display in its entirety in the win.

“I thought the rhythm of his offensive game tonight was terrific,” he said. “Look, our identity is pretty clear. We’re a gritty defensive team and a smart offensive team. When we keep turnovers down and rebound with the opponent, we give ourselves a great shot to win.”

Dallas heads out on the road now for games against Boston, Milwaukee and Minnesota before heading back home on Dec. 12 to play host to the Spurs who may have the services of Kawhi Leonard.

I’m Zack Cunningham, a broadcast journalism major from Abilene Christian University’s class of 2008.

I’ve lived in Texas for 28 of my 31 years on this Earth and I’ve followed the Mavericks since 1998. My first memory of them was the 2001 playoffs and being extremely happy when they beat the Jazz, but sad when they lost to the Spurs in five games in the conference semifinals. However, seeing Dirk drop 42 stands out to me, punctuated by his dunk in garbage time.

I covered high school sports for the Cleburne Times-Review from 2008-12 before moving into the tech industry. Most recently, in 2015 covered the Mavericks for the Fanatic briefly before moving to work with Mike Fisher at DallasBasketball.com.

I am married to my beautiful wife, Jessica, and have been for just over five years now. We live in Carrollton with our dog, Zara, and cat, Drake.

I’m looking forward to covering them again this season with the Fanatic!

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