Martin, Nuggets End Mavs’ Winning Streak
Denver 113, Dallas 104
DENVER, Feb. 10 (Ticker) -- Kenyon Martin took out his frustration on the Dallas Mavericks.
Martin scored a season-high 34 points as the Denver Nuggets posted a 113-104 victory over the Mavericks, who had the longest winning streak of the NBA season stopped at 13 games.
Martin responded with his best game of the season by making 14-of-18 shots and grabbing nine rebounds in 37 dominant minutes. He fell one point shy of matching his career high.
The Nuggets also failed to resemble the team that had lost six of their previous seven games. They jumped on the Mavs from the outset, never trailing and building a 19-point lead by causing nine Maverick turnovers less than nine minutes into the game.
"We wanted to come out early and get the tempo going," Martin said. "I was just trying to be aggressive tonight. We needed this win."
"It might have the best game (Martin has) played since I've been here," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "He took our team on his back in many ways and was fantastic."
The Mavericks were one win shy of matching their franchise record 14-game winning streak that opened up the 2002-03 season. Their last loss was a 117-115 overtime setback against the New York Knicks on Jan. 11.
"We started off slow with no energy and turning the ball over," said Dallas All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 19 points "Overall, this was probably one of our worst performances of the season. We had a good run though winning 13 games in a row. It's kind of weird if you're not used to losing. It almost feels like we just lost a playoff series."
"We obviously have been playing some pretty good basketball," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We knew we were on a streak. In my mind you don't think it's ever going to come to an end. When it does it just doesn't feel good."
Martin scored 18 points and Carmelo Anthony had 15 of his 24 points in the first half, which ended with the Nuggets holding a 62-52 lead.
Denver, which snapped a four-game losing streak against Dallas, shot a blistering 59 percent (23-of-39) in the opening half and 56 percent (45-of-81) overall. The Nuggets had 31 fast-break points.
"We couldn't stop anybody tonight," Johnson said. "We were lethargic physically and mentally. We just didn't have it but they deserved to win."
"We just haven't taken advantage of our homecourt," Karl said. "This is a court we should be the team going after the other team, being aggressive and the team creates the tempo. Tonight we did that and got the much needed win."
Anthony also added career-high 10 assists and Andre Miller had 17 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets, who had to endure some tense moments after their hot start.
After their rough start, the Mavericks pulled within 38-36 with nine minutes left in the first half on a basket by Jason Terry. But Earl Boykins made consecutive jumpers and Martin had a pair of baskets in a 17-8 surge that rebuilt the lead to 55-44.
The Nuggets led by at least nine points the entire third quarter, taking their biggest lead of the period at 80-61 at the 4:55 mark on Martin's finger roll. Denver held a 92-73 lead entering the final period.
"Tonight we stuck to our game plan which was to get out in the open court," Anthony said. "We just needed to get back to playing basketball and having fun."
The Mavs attempted to make a push and used a 12-2 surge to open the fourth quarter, capped by Keith Van Horn's jumper with 8:28 remaining.
But Boykins hit a 3-pointer 15 seconds later and followed with a jumper to trigger a 13-7 surge that made it 107-92 with 4:08 to go. Boykins scored 13 points in 19 effective minutes off the bench.
Van Horn scored 21 points and Jerry Stackhouse 20 for Dallas, which shot 51 percent (41-of-80) but committed 23 turnovers.
"There was a lack of focus tonight," Stackhouse said. "I thought we still did a good job continuing to fight and to make a game. Everytime we started to get something going we would have another turnover and they'd go on another spurt. We could never close the gap as much as we'd like to."
Denver played without center Marcus Camby due to a sore back. It was the 21st game he missed this season. Dallas was missing backup guard Devin Harris (quad).