Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Arron Afflalo nailed the game-winning 19-footer at the buzzer, lifting the Denver Nuggets to an unlikely comeback victory over the Mavericks, 121-120, ending Dallas’ 10-game winning streak.
Afflalo scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and helped Denver erase a 13-point deficit in the final stanza.
Dirk Nowitzki broke a 119-all tie by hitting 1-of-2 from the foul line with 19.6 seconds showing, but Afflalo, after Chauncey Billups dished to him from the top of the key, spotted up from just inside the three-point line and drained the deciding bucket to halt a two-game slide in dramatic fashion.
Carmelo Anthony, who fouled out when he nicked Nowitzki on the right block in the closing seconds, ended with 42 points while Billups added 30 for the Nuggets, who made a healthy 15-of-31 from three-point range.
Jason Terry paced Dallas with 25 points, while fellow reserves Shawn Marion and Jose Berea netted 19 and 17 points, respectively, in Dallas’ first loss since January 20 at Chicago.
Barea laid in a finger roll to give Dallas a 92-88 lead going into the fourth, and the hosts scored the first nine points of the final stanza to gain some breathing room.
Terry’s jumper 2:42 into the frame made it a 13-point affair, but the Nuggets answered behind Afflalo, who scored 11 straight Denver points late in the game. His three-pointer with 1:37 to play cut the deficit to 119-115, and Anthony hit another from long range the next time down for a one-point game.
Terry missed a jumper at the other end, and Nene’s tying free throw with 33.3 seconds showing preceded the memorable finish.
Billups, who missed Wednesday’s loss at Golden State with a strained left knee, scored 18 first-quarter points to help the Nuggets jump out to a 33-19 lead.
The Mavs began their comeback early in the second behind an 11-point spurt, as a Terry three-ball cut the deficit to 39-32 less than five minutes in.
A Barea three-pointer play gave Dallas a 58-56 lead in the final minute, though Anthony answered with a make from long range for a slim halftime edge.
The Mavs close out a three-game road trip in Houston on Saturday….Denver plays at Memphis on Sunday…Dallas fell to 26-2 when reaching the century mark…Nowitzki tallied 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Tyson Chandler chipped in 20 points and 11 rebounds in a losing cause…Dallas connected on 11-of-25 from three-point range.