NBA Game Summary - Dallas at Denver
(Sunday, December 31st)
Final Score: Dallas 89, Denver 85
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Josh Howard recorded 28 points and a game-high 17 rebounds, as the Dallas Mavericks edged the Denver Nuggets, 89-85 at the Pepsi Center.
Jason Terry scored 21 points and dished out six assists, Devin Harris poured in 16, and Greg Buckner added 11 for the Mavericks, winners of 10 consecutive games. Dallas also owns the NBA's best record at 24-7.
Allen Iverson netted 28 for the Nuggets, losers of two straight and three of its last five outings. Earl Boykins added 20 off the bench, Eduardo Najera scored 14, and Marcus Camby notched a double-double off 13 points and 13 boards.
The win grants Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson his 100th victory, making him the fastest to reach the milestone in NBA history, surpassing the legendary Celtics icon, the late Red Auerbach.
"This was a really special win for us tonight," said Johnson. "This was a total team effort, two teams that refused to lose. Fortunately we had a couple more points at the end."
It was also a season low in points for the Nuggets.
Dallas slowly closed the gap in the fourth quarter, twice drawing within a bucket before tying the game with 5:15 to go on a George jumper. Harris would put the Mavs up 83-82 with 2:18 on the clock with a running layup.
After Erick Dampier sank a pair of free throws to put Dallas up 85-82 with 1:38 left in the fourth, a Yakhouba Diawara miss turned around in the Mavs' favor, and Howard sank a pair for a five-point advantage with 1:16 left.
Iverson responded with a pair from the charity stripe to make it 87-84 with just over a minute to play, but the last of Howard's 28 points hit the basket with 54 seconds remaining and sealed the win.
"We got all the opportunities in the world tonight," Iverson said. "Guys had wide open looks, we just need to knock them down."
Dallas opened the game on a 13-6 run, and extended the lead to 20-11, but the Nuggets went on a 13-0 tear at culminating in a pair of Linas Kleiza free throws, which gave the home team a 24-20 advantage after one quarter.
Denver increased the lead by two, outscoring the Mavs 26-24 in the second quarter to take a 50-44 lead into the break.
Poor shooting on both sides led to a less-than-stellar third quarter, with both teams scoring just 19 points apiece, but the Nuggets maintained its six- point margin, 69-63 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Dallas has won seven of the last eight meetings, and is 23-6 against Denver since the 1999-2000 season...The Mavs outrebounded the Nuggets 49-37, and shot 43 percent from the floor.
01/01 00:59:13 ET