Mavs aim to stop skid in meeting with Nuggets

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Updated: December 28, 2012

(Sports Network) – The Dallas Mavericks will try to stem a four-game losing
slide on Friday night when they welcome the Denver Nuggets to American
Airlines Center.

The Mavs lost a heartbreaker on Thursday night, 111-105 in overtime, in
Oklahoma City to the Western Conference champion Thunder. Down three with
under a second to go in regulation, Darren Collison threw in a one-handed,
game-tying long ball to send it to overtime.

“Man, it was just a prayer,” said Collison, who had a season-high 32 points.
“I honestly didn’t think it was going in, but I had made a couple of those
floater 3-pointers before and I was just thankful that it went in. It gave us
a chance for overtime.”

The Thunder out-played the Mavericks in the extra period, although O.J. Mayo,
the team’s leading scorer had a chance late to tie it, but missed two of three
free throws.

Mayo and Dirk Nowitzki, who played in his second game since returning from
knee surgery, both struggled from the field Thursday. They combined to shoot
4-for-18 and net 13 points.

The Nuggets are coming off a 126-114 victory Wednesday night over the Los
Angeles Lakers. Six Nuggets scored in double-figures, led by Corey Brewer’s 27
off the bench. All five starters reached double-digits as Kenneth Faried had
21 points and 15 boards, Andre Iguodala posted 17 points and 11 rebounds, Ty
Lawson had 17 and 14 assists and Danilo Gallinari netted 19.

Wednesday’s victory gave the Nuggets eight straight wins at the Pepsi Center
and pushed their home record to an NBA-best 9-1. They have played the fewest
home games of any team with 10 and to be two games over .500 is really
impressive and potentially dangerous to the rest of the league.

“You have to understand, if we go the rest of the season and lose seven times
at home, we just have to win seven on the road to get to 47 wins,” head coach
George Karl explained. “We’re in a good place.”

The Nuggets will close the 2012 calendar year with two on the road, then have
15 of their next 18 in the high altitude of Denver.

“These next two games are really important for us,” said Iguodala. “We have to
focus in and take care of the first one in Dallas.”

The Nuggets have gone over the 100-point mark in 10 of their 13 games in the
month of December. Defensively, things haven’t been as good as they’ve
surrendered over 100 points in eight of those same 13.

The Mavericks lost last season’s first matchup with the Nuggets, but won the
last three, including one in Dallas.