Matthews leads Mavs to rare blowout, 112-92 over Nuggets
AP Sports Writer
DALLAS — Wesley Matthews scored 25 points and the last-place Dallas Mavericks enjoyed a rare blowout, beating the listless Denver Nuggets 112-92 on Monday night.
Harrison Barnes had 18 points for the Mavericks, who led 65-43 at the break. They expanded the margin to their biggest of the season at 28 points in the third quarter and won consecutive home games for the first time in an injury-plagued season.
The NBA’s worst-shooting team coming in at 41.5 percent, Dallas shot 65 percent in the first half and a season-high 58 percent for the game. The Mavericks were 12 of 26 from 3-point range after missing six of their first seven.
The Nuggets were finishing a season-long six-game road trip and played like it, shooting 42 percent, and their starters were outscored 80-37. Backup center Nikola Jokic led Denver with a season-high 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Denver missed a chance to split the six-game trip, instead losing for the eighth time in 11 games. Emmanuel Mudiay scored 17 points and Danilo Gallinari had 12 points.
Matthews, who finished a point shy of his season high, was 10 of 14 from the field and hit his first five 3-point attempts before finishing 5 of 7. He even made long-range shots that didn’t count, hitting a desperation shot from about 30 feet after a shot-clock buzzer in the fourth quarter.
It was the third game in four nights for the Mavericks, but two were at home and all three in Texas. And they showed plenty of energy, taking a 10-2 lead in the first five minutes and never trailing.
Undrafted Dallas rookie Dorian Finney-Smith had career highs in points and rebounds for the second straight home game, finishing with 13 points and nine boards three nights after getting 12 and eight in a win over Indiana.
Nuggets: Jokic scored 23 of Denver’s 49 second-half points. He had his third double-double in the past four games. … Jamal Murray scored 15 points. … Denver gave up 40 points in the paint in the first half.
Mavericks: C Salah Mejri had three blocks, one more than his season high, in the first four minutes. He finished with four, two off his career high. … Previous high for a half was 63 in the second half of a 130-121 overtime loss at Indiana in the season opener.
Nuggets: Home against Portland on Thursday. The Trail Blazers have already beaten Denver twice this season and won five straight in the series.
Mavericks: Detroit visits Wednesday in a series that has seen the road team win five straight games.