DALLAS -- Danilo Gallinari did it from deep and at the rim, scoring a career-high 39 points to lead the Denver Nuggets to an easy 106-85 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Friday night. The Nuggets (17-14) have played an NBA-high 21 away games without much success on enemy courts. Their fortunes changed against the slumping Mavericks, who have dropped eight of their past nine games. Denver has won seven of its past 10 games against Dallas, the latest being nearly a wire-to-wire rout. The Nuggets dominated from inside and beyond the arc while improving to 8-13 on the road. The Mavericks (12-18) lost their fifth game in a row, tied for their fourth-longest skid since Dirk Nowitzki entered the league in 1998-99. Nowitzki made his first home appearance this season, but it mattered little. Gallinari, a 6-foot-10 Italian forward, drilled 14 of 23 shots, including seven of 11 from 3-point territory. Andre Iguodala added 20 points, and three other Nuggets scored 11, including Kenneth Faried, who added 19 rebounds. O.J. Mayo (15 points) was the only Maverick with more than 12 points. Dallas shot 37.5 percent and was outrebounded 60-43. The Nuggets exploited their advantages inside at both ends of the court right from the start. Denver is the league's highest-scoring team in the paint, while Dallas is the worst rebounding team. That added up to a 21-8 lead before Nowitzki checked in midway through the first quarter. The Mavericks made a push, mainly behind Mayo, cutting the Denver lead to as little as 40-38 late in the second period. Denver finished the half strong, including a 5-0 run from Gallinari in the last six seconds. He drilled a 3-pointer, and after a steal off the subsequent inbounds, converted a rebound put-back at the buzzer. The Nuggets, up 55-47 at the break, enjoyed a 32-14 edge in points in the paint and 14-8 in fastbreak points in the first half. Gallinari had 15 points at intermission, with Faried adding 11 points and 14 boards. Mayo had 13 for Dallas. Denver's lead reached 25 in the second half as the Mavericks offered little resistance. NOTES: Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle doesn't have a specific timetable for when Nowitzki will be 100 percent and back to playing his normal amount of minutes. "It's going to take some time," Carlisle said. "I think it's going to be more than a week or 10 days, but we'll see. He's been working extremely hard. This is going to be a process and it's just not going to happen overnight." Nowitzki, playing in Dallas for the first time this season, has come off the bench in his three games. ... Denver sixth man Corey Brewer was a member of Dallas' 2011 NBA championship team. ... Mayo, the Mavs' leading scorer, came into Friday on his first extended slump since signing in Dallas. The ex-Memphis guard, suffering from the flu earlier this week, averaged 7.3 points on 25 percent shooting in the previous four games.
Nuggets106, Mavericks 85By Art Garcia, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Fri, Dec 28, 2012 11:20 PM EST
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