Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Ty Lawson scored 20 points with nine assists and Kenneth Faried added 18 points with 14 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks, 102-100, at Pepsi Center.
Randy Foye made five 3-pointers to finish with 17 points, while Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson, and Darrell Arthur each had 10 points for Denver.
Dallas trailed 98-94 when Dirk Nowitzki capped a 6-0 run with a fadeaway jumper with 2:02 left to play. Foye answered with just over a minute left, hitting a 3-pointer that proved to be the difference after Faried hit 1-of-2 free throws and Nowitzki's game-tying attempt came up short.
We basically (wanted) to make him (Nowitzki) miss over a contested hand," said Faried on the final possession for Dallas. "That was a great job as a team and we made sure they didnt get a second shot to get it to overtime."
Nowitzki had a game-high 27 points with nine rebounds and Monta Ellis tallied 25 points in the loss, which snapped Dallas' four-game win streak.
Dallas trailed 86-80 after three quarters and took its first lead since the first quarter thanks to an Ellis jumper which gave the Mavs an 89-88 lead.
Denver then went on an 8-2 run to take a 96-91 lead before Dallas answered.
"At the end of the game it's going to be hard to get clean, wide-open shots," said Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle. "Those two guys are our go-to guys (Nowitzki and Ellis) and we're going to live or die by those two making plays."
The game was tied 18-18 with 3:23 left in the first quarter when Denver ended the stanza on a 17-4 run. Nowitzki scored the first six points for Dallas to open the second quarter which was part of a 10-2 run to pull the visitors within five, 37-32, at 8:44.
Andre Miller entered the game tied for ninth place on the all-time assist list (Rod Strickland 7,987) and took sole possession in style with an alley-oop to Chandler which sparked an 11-1 run for Denver and extended the lead to 48-33 following a Foye 3-pointer.
The Mavs got as close as eight later in the second but Denver pushed the lead back to double-digits with a 65-53 lead at halftime.
The 65 points were the most in any half this season for the Nuggets.
Dallas used a 10-2 run in the third to get back in the game and help cut the deficit to six, 73-67, following a Samuel Dalembert free throw at 6:38.
Vince Carter and Jose Calderon scored 16 and 11 points ,respectively, for Dallas ... This was the first of a home-and-home between the two teams with the second leg in Dallas on Monday ... Denver has now won five straight at home after starting the year 0-2.