The Denver Nuggets raced past the Dallas Mavericks with a 130-104 victory, thanks in large part to Jamal Murray's resurgence. Murray, who has been grappling with a strained hamstring and two sprained ankles, showed signs of his peak form, scoring 22 points and going a perfect 4 for 4 from 3-point range.
His contribution was vital in cementing the Nuggets' dominant win.
Murray, reflecting on his recovery and performance, said, “I’m doing fine. I can’t complain. I think we’re still just trying to, not find our rhythm, but all be on the court healthy at one time."This win is particularly significant for the Nuggets, especially after Murray missed 15 games this season, impacting the team's overall rhythm and dynamics.
Team Effort and Strategic Play
Aaron Gordon and Nikola Jokic also played crucial roles in the Nuggets' victory. Gordon tied his season high with 21 points, while Jokic added eight points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
The Nuggets’ starters were given the fourth quarter off, a testament to their commanding lead, as the Denver bench outshined the Mavericks' reserves with a 62-34 margin.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone praised his bench, saying, “That group played the right way, building good habits”.The Nuggets showcased a strategic game plan against the Mavericks, focusing on maintaining a fast pace.
They held a significant 32-11 advantage in fast-break points. Murray elaborated on this strategy: “We just felt like we could get out and run — especially at home, at altitude.Despite a stellar 38-point performance by Luka Doncic, who also secured 11 rebounds, the Mavericks struggled without key players Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, Maxi Kleber, and Dereck Lively II, all sidelined due to injuries.
We did a good job of trying to keep them off-balance”.
Mavericks coach Jason Kidd acknowledged the team's challenges: “When we can’t score and we can’t get stops, that’s not a great recipe to win. We have to be better”.In a notable achievement, Tim Hardaway Jr.
surpassed his father, Tim Hardaway Sr., for 44th on the league's career 3-pointers list. Meanwhile, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a significant defensive impact in his return, helping to contain Doncic in the second half. The game also marked the first on-court encounter between Jokic and Markieff Morris since their scuffle in November 2021, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the matchup. However, the night belonged to the Nuggets, who demonstrated their depth and strategic prowess in a commanding win.