By Michael Kelly, Associated Press
Nikola Jokic hit a falling one-handed shot as time expired to lift the Denver Nuggets over the weary Dallas Mavericks 100-99 on Thursday night.
Jokic saved Denver after the Nuggets trailed by twelve early within the fourth quarter. He finished with eleven points, fourteen rebounds and eight assists, hitting all four of his field goals within the fourth.
Luka Doncic led Dallas with twenty four points. He had a go-ahead dunk with five.8 seconds left, however Jokic topped it by leaning to his right and belongings an attempt go before the buzzer.
Paul Millsap finished with a season-high thirty three points for the Nuggets (45-22), who reinforced their hold on the No. two spot within the Western Conference.
Jalen Brunson had twenty points and Tim Hardaway Junior. scored seventeen for the well-traveled Mavericks.
The team was scheduled to depart Dallas on Wednesday afternoon however Denver International airport canceled flights in and out because of poor weather and made the Mavericks to fly into Denver on Thursday morning. The team left Dallas at 8 a.m. and arrived in Denver at 9 a.m.
The Mavericks looked like the team with more energy, building an eight-point lead within the half and ending the second quarter on a 13-2 run to require a six-point lead at the break.
Denver came out strong within the third quarter, however Dallas responded with eight straight points and led by as many as twelve.
The Nuggets used a 12-2 run within the fourth quarter to get within 93-91. Jokic, who was 0-for-4 from the floor in the first 3 quarters, hit a lay-up to get Denver within a basket. Millsap tied the game at 95, and a free throw by Jokic with 1:06 left gave the Nuggets a 98-97 lead with 1:06 left.
Brunson missed a baseline jumper however a Denver turnover with 20.3 seconds left gave Dallas the ball and set up the final sequences.
Mavericks: F Kristaps Porzingis was with the team a day after taking part in his first 5-on-5 practice. Porzingis, acquired from New York on Jan. 31 (Feb. 1, PHL time), has not played since tearing his ACL last season.
Nuggets: Torrey Craig was out with a left shoulder sprain suffered Tuesday night. Craig was hurt in the last 20 seconds of mop-up time. … F Trey Lyles was active after missing nine games with a left hamstring strain.
Mavericks: Host Cleveland on Saturday night.
Nuggets: Wrap up their three-game homestand against Indiana on Saturday night.