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Nuggets hand Mavs first home loss

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- Guards Ty Lawson and Nate Robinson carried the Denver Nuggets in the second half of an easy 110-96 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Monday.

Denver (7-6) beat the Mavericks for the second time in the last three days and climbed over .500 for the first time this season. Dallas (9-6) lost for the first time at home this season, falling to 7-1.

Lawson scored 13 of his 19 points in the third quarter and Robinson delivered the dagger in the fourth with a flurry from downtown. Robinson drilled three 3-pointers and racked up 13 of his 17 points in the final period as the Nuggets pulled away.

"That's why we brought him in: to give us some scoring punch off the bench and give us some energy off the bench," Denver coach Brian Shaw said of Robinson. "And when he gets hot like that, you ride him. And so he came in (and) their defense was kind of in flux. They got confused a few times; they left him open."

The Nuggets shot 54.7 percent and had six players score in double figures. Forward J.J. Hickson had a season-high 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Forward Kenneth Faried tallied his 50th career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Forwards Wilson Chandler and Jordan Hamilton each scored 11.

"I thought it was a good team win for our guys tonight," Shaw said. "We got contributions from a lot of different places."

Guard Monta Ellis paced the Mavericks with 22 points and forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 -- but just five in the second half. Forward Shawn Marion had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

"It was a pretty thorough beating really," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Other than a great start and a bit of a run in the second half, we were unable to get any sustained traction and it's an L."

After the Mavericks pulled within 89-85 three minutes into the fourth, Robinson followed with back-to-back 3-pointers coming out of a timeout. The Nuggets cruised from there in completing the home-and-home sweep after beating Dallas in Denver on Saturday.

Though he was knocking down big shots late, Robinson credited the team's defense as the difference down the stretch.

"We just tried to make every shot for Dirk hard and every shot for Monta tough," Robinson said. "We just tried to rebound the ball and hold them to one shot or one look at the basket. Then we tried to rebound the ball and push it on the other end, and that's what we did."

The Nuggets took a 72-57 lead on Lawson's 3-pointer in the third, forcing a timeout out of Carlisle at the 6:20 mark. Dallas climbed back and went into the fourth down 85-77.

Behind 13 points from Hickson, the Nuggets took a 56-51 lead into halftime. Denver, down big in the first quarter, took control by beating the Mavericks down the court and pounding the ball inside in the second.

The Mavericks were hot early, ripping off a 10-0 run and building a double-digit lead midway through the first. Dallas trailed by as many as 12 in the second before an 11-2 spurt late in the half cut into the deficit.

Nowitzki had 13 points at the break and moved ahead of Kevin Garnett into 14th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Ellis added 13 and guard Jose Calderon scored 10 of his 12.

"This is a coaching loss," Carlisle said. "I didn't have these guys ready to play -- it's clear. I'll take the blame for this. Just didn't have them ready to play."

NOTES: Mavericks C Samuel Dalembert (bruised ribs) didn't start because he missed shootaround after oversleeping, but came off the bench. "Bruised ribs are one of the most painful things you can have aside from fractured ribs," Carlisle said. "He's played through some nagging injury stuff so far." DeJuan Blair started in Dalembert's place. ... Denver F Danilo Gallinari (torn ACL) remains a few weeks from returning. "I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that one day, hopefully soon, they'll tell me he can start doing some things on the floor," coach Brian Shaw said. ... Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki came into the game as the league's best free-throw shooter (94.9 percent) and having made 32 straight. ... Dallas' 7-0 start at home was its best since it started the 2003-04 season 10-0 at American Airlines Center.
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