NBA 2018-19: 3 Talking Points from Denver Nuggets vs Dallas Mavericks
Coming into this game, the Nuggets had lost four of their last six and were desperate for a win at home. The Mavericks did not let go of the game until the very dying minutes when the Joker pulled a buzzer beater out of his hat to hand the visitors a heartbreaking 100-99 loss.
In a match-up between the West's second-best and second-worst team on the standings, it sure never looked like a one-sided affair. The Nuggets came back in the final period, and were almost at the brink of losing the game.
With this win, Denver are now just 1 game behind the first place Warriors in the West. They have now won six of their last ten match-ups and currently host a 45-22(0.672) win-loss record on the season.
On the other hand, the loss added insult to the already wrecked Mavericks season as they find themselves fixated at the 14th spot on the Western Conference leaderboard. Led by rookie sensation Luka Doncic, Dallas are currently 27-41(0.397) on the season, having lost nine of their last ten games.
Let's draw out some talking points from this thrilling Mavericks-Nuggets encounter that went down to the wire.
#1 Luka Doncic's emphatic dunk is met by Jokic's buzzer-beater
With around 10 seconds remaining in the game, Doncic had the ball in his hands with the Nuggets up by 1. He beat Mason Plumlee with his quick first step and before the defense collapsed on him, and he had dunked it down hard and had been fouled in the act.
The Slovenian missed the free-throw that followed, giving Denver 5.8 seconds to make something happen. Jamal Murray in-bounded the ball to Nikola Jokic who dribbled it down to as near to the rim as Powell allowed him to. He twisted and turned but Powell's defense was solid. Eventually, the Joker took a bump and threw an off-balance right-handed floater that went in as the clock expired.
"I felt like he was going to block it, so I just go to the right hand and throw it somehow. And the ball went in," Jokic said. "Powell played really good defense. He was right there but I made a lucky shot."
According to ESPN NBA stats & Info,
It's the 1st game-winning buzzer-beater by a Nuggets center in the last 15 seasons.
Jokic finished with a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds, along with 8 rebounds while Doncic finished ended up with a near-triple-double of 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.