The Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks got their game started with the Nuggets getting a small lead early in the game, and the remainder of the first quarter was a slugfest between Luka Doncic and the entirety of the Nuggets as he scored 17 of the team’s first 25 points while Jokic failed to make a shot in the entire first period. However, Denver still managed to carry a 26-25 lead thanks to a strong start from Michael Porter Jr.

In the second period, the Nuggets’ second unit came out firing, and they proceeded to set the starters up with a comfortable lead that continued to grow heading into the half. Denver outscored them 35-19 in the period, and every player on the court had a positive plus-minus heading into the half with Denver leading 61-44 after holding a short-handed Mavericks team in check during that second period.

Coming out of the half, the two sides were trading buckets early on, and neither side was getting a huge lead rolling in their direction. A little over halfway through the third quarter, the Mavs had pulled to within 14 and were trading baskets with the Nuggets. The Mavericks came out of a timeout with a pair of baskets, but they immediately gave up a 4-0 run following a bad shot and a pair of turnovers. Denver continued to keep matching Dallas down the stretch, and they won the quarter 31-30 to stretch their lead a little further.

Starting the final period, Denver’s second unit was on the floor, and they were just getting beaten too often. Dallas had gotten to within 10 just over three minutes into the quarter, and Michael Malone was forced to call a timeout to stop the run. Nikola Jokic re-entered the game following that timeout, but the team was still trading baskets despite Luka being on the bench for the Mavs. A huge night for Jeff Green was continuing midway through the fourth quarter as he was up to 22 points on the night in 22 minutes off of the bench. He was the first Nugget other than Bones Hyland to score 20 or more points for Denver this season. MPJ had a huge series with a chase-down block on one end before hustling back to drill a triple in transition to stretch Denver’s lead to 15 with just under five minutes remaining. With just under three minutes remaining in the game, the Mavericks were waving the white flag with Luka heading to the bench with 37 points. Malone kept the starters in a little longer to give Jokic a chance at a triple-double, and he would get it with just over 1:00 remaining in the game. Denver was leading by 12, and it was all over but the crying. Denver would knock off the Mavericks by a final score of 118-109 to head into the All-Star Break leading the Western Conference with a record of 41-18.

Stat Leaders

Points: Jeff Green – 24

Assists: Nikola Jokic – 10

Rebounds: Jokic – 13

Player of the Game: Jeff Green – 24 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 11-of-16 field goal, 2-of-5 3-point, 0-of-0 free throw