DENVER — Forward Wilson Chandler scored 21 points, guard Ty Lawson had 20 and the Denver Nuggets used a fast start and strong finish to beat the Dallas Mavericks 115-110 on Wednesday night.
Forward J.J. Hickson had 12 of his 16 points in the fourth and also tied a career high with five blocks for the Nuggets, who ended a six-game losing streak.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 for the Mavericks, who have lost three straight.
The Mavericks (36-26) are trying to hold onto one of the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference, and their recent slide hasn’t helped their cause. They are now tied for eighth in the conference, one game ahead of Memphis, which lost in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Nowitzki did his best to carry Dallas to the win. After a quiet 10 points in the first half he had 11 in the first five minutes of the third. Dallas turned on its defense, holding Denver to 11 points in the third to cut the deficit to 79-73 heading into the fourth.
Denver (26-34) missed 22 of 26 shots in the period after shooting 54 percent in the first half.
Lawson, Denver’s catalyst, injured his heel in the third quarter. He had a slight limp as he came out of the game with 2:26 left but did return midway through the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets found their stroke in the fourth without him. Chandler had five quick points to spur a 16-2 run to start the period that made it 95-75 with 7:40 remaining.
Dallas made one last push, closing to within 113-107 with 30 seconds left.
The Nuggets’ 41 points in the first quarter gave them back-to-back 40-point periods. They had 45 in the fourth quarter Monday against Minnesota.
Even with the hot offense, the Nuggets only led 48-40 early in the second quarter. They then reeled off 11 straight points to take a 59-40 lead, their biggest of the first half. Denver led 68-51 at intermission.
NOTES: Mavericks F Wayne Ellington was excused from the team for personal reasons. Coach Rick Carlisle said he did not know if Ellington’s absence would be more than one game. F Jae Crowder was moved into the bench rotation in place of Ellington. … The Nuggets last lost 11 of 12 in January 2005, just prior to the hiring of coach George Karl. The team went 32-8 the rest of the way to finish 49-33. … Dallas, which came into Wednesday averaging 11.7 turnovers in its previous 14 games, had no turnovers in the first quarter against Denver. … The Nuggets won the first two games of the season series when they played a home-and-home in November.
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