The Denver Nuggets came to Dallas to play the Mavericks on a matinee game on national TV for St. Patrick’s day. The game lived up to the billing and was a battle back and forth with the stars shining on both teams. Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. led the way for the Nuggets but Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic had big nights for Dallas. Both players hit huge shots in the closing moments of the game and it was Irving with the buzzer beating heroics. All in all a great game but the Nuggets fall just short and lose 107-105.

Both offenses were cold from the floor to start the game, perhaps a side effect of the early tip. The Mavs got a couple threes out of Doncic and Irving though and they built an early lead. The struggles from the field continued for both teams which allowed Denver to tie the game behind some strong play from Aaron Gordon. It was a straight brick fest for Dallas and though Denver wasn’t shooting well either, they still got on a 13-2 run. Denver held the lead while Doncic finally got Dallas’ offense going. Porter Jr. had a big quarter highlighted by a huge jam and Jokic followed that with an and-1 which put the Nuggets up six. The refs swallowed their whistles as the quarter came to a close which ended up drawing technical fouls from Reggie Jackson and Michael Malone. Despite the tough calls (or lack thereof) Denver ended the first leading 34-30.

Dallas captured the momentum to start the second quarter and went on an immediate 6-0 run to take the lead. Denver got it together after that and the teams went back and forth in a tight game. Doncic was getting hot from three which precipitated Malone getting the majority of his starters back in. The pace of the game ramped up and suddenly both teams couldn’t stop scoring. It went back and forth as the quarter passed the half way mark. After that it cooled off a bit while Jokic and Gordon worked their low two man game and Dallas’ offense ran everything through Doncic. That continued to be the story towards the end of the half. Murray got a difficult and-1 to go with about thirty seconds left and that stood as the lead with Denver up 61-58 at halftime.

It was a bit sloppy to start the second half. Neither team scored much but there were plenty of turnovers. Denver got a little bit going and grabbed a five point lead after a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope three. That made Dallas take a timeout and then they turned the momentum in their favor. Denver went completely cold from the floor and settled for too many three pointers while the Mavs went on a 9-0 run. Denver responded after their own timeout through Jokic and the game stayed close. It also stayed fairly sloppy with not a lot of baskets but a lot of fouls. With just under three minutes to go in the quarter Doncic went back to the locker room (he returned to the bench shortly after). Denver meanwhile was getting killed on the offensive glass which let Dallas get ahead by the slimmest of margins. It was close right down to the last minute of the quarter. Irving did the damage for Dallas and led a strong close to the third. After three quarters Dallas led 84-79.

The Nuggets continued to get killed on the offensive glass to start the fourth which let Dallas grow the lead. A furious Malone called a timeout just two minutes into the quarter after yet another possession ended with second chance points for the Mavs. It resulted in the immediate benching of Peyton Watson and Justin Holiday but Zeke Nnaji had to stay on the floor to get Jokic a rest. It was not a good shift for him as Dallas continued to get offensive rebounds and started targeting Zeke in the switch. At the eight minute mark the Mavs were up nine and Jokic came back in. The momentum stayed in Dallas’ favor behind Irving and Doncic and Dallas’ lead grew to double digits. The Nuggets hit back to back threes with half the quarter remaining to keep in it. They continued to refuse to go away and flipped the momentum with a 13-3 run to pull within three with three minutes to go. Jokic tied it with about a minute to go and then the Nuggets got a 2 for 1 opportunity that they slow played before Murray buried a three with twenty-six seconds left. Doncic hit a deep three off the inbound to tie and Murray missed a mid range jumper with three seconds left setting up one final possession for Dallas. Irving got the inbound and hit a running left handed floater from about twenty feet away at the buzzer. Dallas wins 107-105.