Nuggets Bring Winning Streak To Encounter With Mavericks

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After emerging from last month’s All-Star break with a renewed determination, the Denver Nuggets have become a formidable force, posing a significant challenge to the rest of the league.

With a current record of 47-20, Denver is riding high on a five-game winning streak as they prepare to face off against the Dallas Mavericks (38-29) on Sunday. Since the All-Star break, the Nuggets boast an impressive 11-1 record, securing the top seed in the Western Conference with just 15 games remaining in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks’ four-game winning streak was halted by Thursday’s 126-119 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sitting in eighth place in the West, Dallas is eager to break free from the play-in tournament bracket.

In their previous encounters, Dallas has fallen short against Denver, dropping their last three meetings, including a decisive 130-104 road defeat on Dec. 18. Notably, Jamal Murray led Denver’s charge with 22 points, as the Nuggets dominated the game, leading by as much as 36 points and resting their starters for the entirety of the fourth quarter.

Denver further demonstrated their prowess in Friday’s 117-106 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Austin, with Nikola Jokic delivering an outstanding performance, scoring 31 points, while Murray contributed 15 points and 10 assists.

Jokic has been a standout for the defending champions, averaging an impressive 26.0 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 9.1 assists. With their sights set on securing the Western Conference’s top playoff seed for the second consecutive season, the Nuggets are poised for another strong finish.

As they continue their four-game road trip, Denver faces Dallas, where the Mavericks are closely monitoring the status of key players Luka Doncic (sore left hamstring) and Josh Green (right ankle sprain).

Doncic’s absence in Thursday’s game against Oklahoma City was felt, but with an MRI returning clear, there is hope for his return as soon as Sunday. Meanwhile, Green’s X-rays came back negative, although coach Jason Kidd remains uncertain about his timeline for return.

Dallas has struggled in games without Doncic this season, with a record of 3-6. Despite Kyrie Irving’s impressive performance against Oklahoma City, contributing 36 points and a season-high 12 assists, the Mavericks’ 19 turnovers proved costly in the defeat.

On a positive note, coach Kidd has expressed satisfaction with the performance of center Daniel Gafford, acquired from the Washington Wizards on Feb. 8. Gafford’s streak of consecutive field goals was snapped at 33 on Thursday, falling just two short of Wilt Chamberlain’s NBA record of 35. Nonetheless, Gafford has been a valuable asset for the Mavericks, averaging 11.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 15 games since joining the team.