Dallas was beaten 91-88 by Utah on Wednesday night. The Mavericks did a poor job rebounding, as they were beaten on the glass 45-24.
“Basically when you get outrebounded as bad as we did tonight, it’s awful hard to win,” Mavericks coach Don Nelson said.
Dallas hadn’t lost since Jan. 11, when Detroit beat the Mavericks 115-102. The Mavericks were playing one night after a 118-116 win at Seattle, but didn’t blame fatigue for the defeat.
“It hurt us in the first half, but we found some energy and got back into the game,” Nelson said.
Michael Finley, who scored 29 for Dallas, put up a potential tying 3-pointer that bounced off the rim with time winding down. The Mavs managed to get the rebound and kicked it out to Antoine Walker. But his shot also bounced off the rim and just missed rolling in before the buzzer sounded.
Dallas will have to do a much better job on the boards against Denver, which is coming off a 115-99 win over Chicago on Wednesday. Marcus Camby grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds as the Nuggets snapped a three-game losing skid.
“I hadn’t been able to sleep the last couple of nights,” Camby said. “I worry about wins and losses and we hadn’t lost three in a row all season. Besides, I don’t think about stats.”
The Nuggets finished with a 63-41 rebounding edge and helped coach Jeff Bzdelik back his guarantee of a victory.
“Marcus was just all over the court,” Bzdelik said. “He basically outrebounded Chicago by himself.”
Camby’s rebounds were seven short of the franchise record held by Dikembe Mutombo.
Denver activated reserve guard Jon Barry on Friday after he sat out the previous 21 games with an injured shoulder. Barry is averaging 6.6 points in 21.1 minutes this season.
STANDINGS (through Jan. 29): Nuggets - 5th place (tied), 6 GB, Midwest Division. Mavericks - 2nd place (tied), 3 GB, Midwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Nuggets - Anthony, 18.4 ppg; Camby, 10 rpg; Miller, 6.3 apg. Mavericks - Nowitzki, 21.1 ppg; Walker, 9.2 rpg; Nash, 8.1 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Mavericks, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 16; Mavericks, 91-88. At Denver, Finley scored five points in the final 1:26 as Dallas held on for the win. Nowitzki scored 22 points for the Mavs. Miller led the Nuggets with a game-high 28 points.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Nuggets - 9-13 on the road; Mavericks - 20-3 at home.
INJURIES: Nuggets - F Mark Pope (knee); G Jeff Trepagnier (ankle); G Voshon Lenard (quadriceps). Mavericks - G Tony Delk (ankle); G Marquis Daniels (flu); F Tariq Abdul-Wahad (knee); G Jon Stefansson (ankle); F Danny Fortson (face).