It has been a roller coaster ride for the Denver Nuggets the last 48 hours.
The Nuggets lost at home to division rivals Oklahoma City Thunder, then beat the Dallas Mavericks on the road and through all of it they lost yet another player as Timofey Mozgov to an ankle injury.
Denver took advantage of the short-handed Mavericks squad, who were without starting center Tyson Chandler and point guard Jason Kidd.
JR Smith led the squad in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of his game-high 23 points in the final quarter.
Kenyon Martin, who has been hot over the past four games – averaging 16 points a game, chipped in 18.
Wilson Chandler added 16.
MVP: Smith played one of his better games this season. Hitting crazy shots and stopping any chance of a Mavericks rally.
The Nuggets played to the Thunder’s strength Tuesday night, letting Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook dictate the game.
Durant scored 32 and Westbrook went for 18, but shot only 10 of 27.
On the other side of the ball, the Nuggets struggled to find the basket. The Thunder’s twin tours in the paint (Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins) made life difficult for Denver’s bigs. Nene shot only 3-for-10 and was held to only seven points.
- Nene has been held below 10 points the previous two Nuggets games.
- Mozgov will miss the next 10 to 14 games due to the ankle injury.
- Chris Andersen has missed the last two games.
- Arron Afflalo is still troubled by the ankle injury and may not be ready until the playoffs.