DENVER (AP) – Nikola Jokic completed his second triple-double with a late jumper to put Denver ahead, and the Nuggets held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 91-89 on Saturday night.
Jokic had 11 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists. Gary Harris scored 24 to help Denver rally from nine points down in the fourth quarter for its third straight victory.
Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray was healthy but did not start for an undisclosed reason. After averaging 26.7 points in his previous three games, he struggled early Saturday before scoring all 15 of his points in the second half.
The Mavericks were missing guards J.J. Barea (oblique strain) and Devin Harris (personal reasons) but played well without them. They faltered down the stretch, going 4:27 without a field goal late in the game.
Harrison Barnes had 22 points and Dennis Smith Jr. had 13 points, six rebounds and six assists for Dallas. The Mavericks have lost three in a row.
Dallas trailed by 12 early but quickly erased the deficit and took a three-point lead in the second quarter. The Mavericks went on a 16-1 run to end the third and take a 74-66 lead.
Denver rallied to get back into it, and Jokic drained a jumper from the top of the key to give the Nuggets a 91-89 lead with 1:12 left. Barnes missed a 3-pointer, but an offensive foul was called on Jokic with 12.7 seconds left. After Mason Plumlee blocked Smith’s layup out of bounds, Wesley Matthews missed a 3 at the buzzer.
Mavericks: Coach Rick Carlisle said he hopes Barea’s oblique injury is not a long-term issue. “I hope it’s a one-nighter,” he said. “It happened on a freakish play (Friday) night where he was reaching for the ball.” … Harris missed his second straight game for personal reasons and fourth in a row overall. He had missed the previous two games with a concussion.
Nuggets: F Wilson Chandler left in the first half due to illness and did not return. … F Tyler Lydon had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Friday and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Lydon was hurt Wednesday while playing for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in a G League game.
Mavericks: Host the Miami Heat on Monday night.
Nuggets: Host the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
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