Nuggets Lead 2-0 | Next Game: Saturdday @ Dallas, 5PM ET
While the Mavs relied on Dirk Nowitzki almost exclusively to keep them in the game, Denver got a balanced attack from virtually its entire team, which allowed them to turn a three-point lead at the break into a laugher midway through the fourth quarter.
Denver put on an epic run that lasted half of the final period -- a 16-2 spurt that put the game away, and may have crushed the Mavericks' collective spirit along the way as well.
At least in this game.
The thing about this Mavericks team is, they have a recent history of allowing games to get out of hand once they know they no longer have a chance to win. That's not a knock on them necessarily; just go back and look at how many games during the regular season that they've lost by huge margins, and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Without the availability of Josh Howard, and with Nowitzki and Jason Terry the only ones on the team capable of putting up decent numbers offensively, the Mavericks can only hope that they can provide a bigger challenge to the Nuggets when the series shifts to Dallas for Game 3.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets aren't sweating it either.
Carmelo Anthony, Nene, and J.R. Smith each scored more than 20 points, while Chauncey Billups added 18 and eight assists. If the Mavs are going to slow Denver at all in the next couple of games, they're going to have to play better defense on the interior, while forcing those on the perimeter into tougher, more well-defended shots.
Sounds like a tall task, even for a team that's getting to play on their home floor for the next two games.