THE FACTS: Danilo Gallinari sank seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 39 points Friday, powering the Denver Nuggets to a 106-85 victory over the struggling Dallas Mavericks. Andre Iguodala added 20 points and Kenneth Faried had 11 points and a game-high 19 rebounds for the Nuggets (17-14), who have won nine of their last 12 at the American Airlines Center.
The Nuggets made 12 3-pointers for the second straight game and enjoyed huge advantages in points in the paint (52-34) and rebounding (60-43). Gallinari's previous career high was 37 points at New York on Jan. 21, 2012. The Mavericks' only lead of the game was 2-0.
Dallas (12-18) has dropped five straight and eight of its last nine. Dirk Nowitzki was held to just five points in his 2012-13 home debut. O.J. Mayo led five players in double figures with 15 points and a career-high five steals. The Mavericks shot 20 percent (5-for-25) from 3-point distance and 37.5 percent overall.
QUOTABLE: "I was open tonight and I took my shots. I thank the Mavs' defensive game plan for leaving me open tonight."
-- Danilo Gallinari
THE STAT: This was the Mavericks' seventh defeat by 20 or more points this season. They only had four such lopsided losses all of last season.
TURNING POINT: Denver closed the third quarter with a 17-6 run to build an 87-70 lead. Gallinari scored 10 during that decisive stretch, including a 3-pointer and a three-point play.
QUOTABLE II: "Look, we're a long way from being a good basketball team. I know that. It's a lot of work."
-- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
HOT: Iguodala drained all four of his 3-point attempts during the third quarter. Iguodala and Gallinari each scored 13 in the third.
NOT: Nowitzki was 2-for-10 from the field and did not play at all in the fourth quarter. He finished with one rebound in 18:07. This was his third game back, his first at the AAC, since undergoing offseason surgery on his right knee.
QUOTABLE III: "That was my decision. It was back-to-back games. He isn't limping or anything, but he just can't give us what everyone expects us to give."
-- Rick Carlisle on Nowitzki sitting out the fourth quarter.
BAD MOVE: After trailing by as many as 15 points, the Mavericks had momentum and were within three points late in the first half. But after a 3-pointer by Gallinari with 5.9 seconds left, Andre Miller stole a sloppy pass by Vince Carter and fed Ty Lawson for a 3-point attempt. He missed it, but Gallinari slammed home the rebound at the buzzer to give Denver a 55-47 lead at the break.
ROOKIE WATCH: Mavericks forward Jae Crowder was 1-for-7 from the field, 1-for-5 from behind the arc, and tallied six points and three rebounds.
NOTABLE: Faried nearly had a double-double in the first quarter with nine points and 11 rebounds (three more than the entire Mavericks team). ... Miller had 11 points and nine assists off the bench. ... Denver is 8-2 when it scores 20-plus second-chance points (21 vs. Dallas). ... The Nuggets are 13-2 when allowing fewer than 100 points. ... Carter passed Glen Rice (1,559) for 13th place in NBA history in made 3-point field goals. ... Dallas is 2-6 in the second game of back-to-backs. ... This is the Mavericks' longest losing streak since a six-game slide in January 2011.
UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Sunday vs. San Antonio, Tuesday @ Washington, Wednesday @ Miami. For the Nuggets, Saturday @ Memphis, Tuesday vs. L.A. Clippers, Thursday vs. Minnesota.