DENVER (AP) — Dorian Finney-Smith hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 17.3 seconds remaining and the Dallas Mavericks rallied after squandering a late lead to beat the Denver Nuggets 116-115 on Tuesday night.
Nikola Jokic had a chance to tie the game with 12 seconds remaining, but missed the first of two free throws. Spencer Dinwiddie hit both free throws to help seal the win for the Mavericks.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 29 points and Luka Doncic recorded his 52nd career triple-double with 22 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Mavericks hardly looked weary as they played the second game of a back-to-back. They beat the Western Conference-leading Phoenix Suns the night before.
Aaron Gordon had 27 points, while Jokic added 19 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the Nuggets, who dropped their third straight game on a night when they committed 17 turnovers.
Dallas appeared to have the game well in hand after taking a 111-101 lead with just over 4 minutes remaining. But the Nuggets went on an 11-0 run and jumped in front on Bruce Brown’s 3-pointer.
It set the stage for Finney-Smith, who finished with 19 points.
The Mavericks finished 27 of 31 from the free throw line. Hardaway missed both free throw attempts with 4.2 seconds remaining, setting up a desperation heave from Jamal Murray at the buzzer that missed the mark.
Nuggets guard Bones Hyland had a big bounce-back performance with 20 points after being benched last game for the second half. Coach Michael Malone said he chatted with Hyland and emphasized how big a role he plays on the second unit.
Mavericks: The Mavericks are 2-3 in the second game of a back-to-back. … Christian Wood had 14 points.
Nuggets: F Michael Porter Jr. (heel) missed a seventh straight game. … F Jeff Green returned after missing seven games with a knee injury. He had seven points.
Mavericks coach Jason Kidd was asked about social media posts and fans who wonder why younger players such as Jaden Hardy don’t receive more minutes.
Simple answer: not enough to go around.
“Maybe we should bring Luka up, and ask, does he want to play less? Or Spencer?” Kidd explained. “You just have to be patient. I know society isn’t patient or Twitter isn’t patient, because they want it now — fantasy leagues and all that. My job is to put those guys in a position to be successful. Right now, we’ve got a good thing going. … Twitter isn’t the coach or the player.”
Mavericks: Host Milwaukee on Friday night.
Nuggets: At Portland on Thursday night.