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NBA Game Summary - Denver at Dallas

(Sunday, January 27th)

Final Score: Dallas 90, Denver 85

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter as Dallas earned a 90-85 win over Denver.

Nowitzki, who ended 12-of-17 from the field, also had 11 rebounds, as the Mavericks won their third straight game and moved to 20-3 at home this season, tops in the NBA. Josh Howard had 20 points and Jason Terry 19 for Dallas, which won its seventh straight at home and beat the Nuggets for the ninth time in the last 12 meetings.

"The team really, really honed in on defense," Terry said. "That is something we have to do now we're in the second half of the season where you really have to lock in on your opponent. Every game's critical, every possession, I thought for the most part tonight, we were locked in."

The victory may have come at a cost though, as guard Devin Harris sprained his left ankle with 7:53 left in the fourth quarter while driving for a layup. Harris, who collided with several cameramen under the basket, had to be helped to the locker room and wasn't able to put weight on the ankle. Harris will not travel with the team for Monday's game at Memphis. He will stay in Dallas to be re-evaluated and have an MRI on Monday.

Allen Iverson had 23 points to lead the injury-depleted Nuggets, who had a two-game winning streak broken. Carmelo Anthony sat out his third consecutive game for Denver with a sprained left ankle. Anthony Carter stepped up for 20 points for the Nuggets, who have lost 19 of their last 21 at Dallas.

"Not many nights in losing do you make positive steps, and I thought we made positive steps out of it," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "The Mavericks came after us and had a double-digit lead. We weren't playing well offensively, and hung in there and got things a little better."

Iverson though didn't see a positive in the loss.

"I don't care too much about moral victories, I'm so far gone in my career," Iverson said. "I think when we found AC's hot hand it was too late. The little breakdowns we had on defense were at the end of the game, and that's the worst part to have a breakdown."

The Mavericks were ahead 68-59 at the time of Harris' injury, but Denver's Eduardo Najera hit a three-pointer with 6:24 left and the Nuggets got within four later in the final quarter at 77-73 on Carter's third straight three- pointer with 3:10 left.

However, Nowitzki answered with his second straight trey and moved Dallas to an 82-73 lead with 2:14 left with a pair of foul shots.

Denver pulled within 86-83 on another three from Carter with 18.1 seconds left, but Nowitzki nailed two more from the charity stripe less than a second later to seal the victory.

Dallas went on a 15-3 first-quarter run to take a 22-12 lead. The Mavs led from that point on, at 24-15 after the first, 45-34 at the half and 60-54 going into the fourth.

"It lets us know we can win games in other ways besides scoring the ball all the time," Howard said. "Today, we played great defense, I think we had great bench play in Gana (DeSagana Diop). He came in and gave us big time minutes. Even JT (Terry), when Devin went down, those two guys helped us out a lot. And we are going to need that for playoffs."

Game Notes

This marked Nowitzki's ninth 30-point game of the season. He has now scored at least 20 points in all 12 of this January's games...Dallas currently owns the longest running home sellout streak in the NBA at 257.

01/27 22:42:00 ET

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