DENVER — The Denver Nuggets just had a heartbreaking loss in overtime. D.J. Augustin made sure it didn’t happen again.
Augustin scored Denver’s last eight points of the extra period, including two free throws with 0.9 seconds left, and the Nuggets beat the Dallas Mavericks 116-114 on Sunday.
Augustin finished with 12 points to help the Nuggets get payback after an overtime loss in Dallas on Feb. 26. They had another OT loss just two days earlier, when the Brooklyn Nets beat them 121-120.
“Coming into this game we were like 1-4 in overtime, so getting this win was definitely huge, especially against a good team like Dallas,” rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay said.
Kenneth Faried had 25 points and a season-high 20 rebounds for the Nuggets, who rallied from four down in the last 10 seconds of regulation. Will Barton added 20 points.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points and Deron Williams had 17 for the Mavericks, who have lost two straight.
“We could have won this game a million ways,” Nowitzki said. “It’s a tough one.”
Augustin has given the Nuggets a spark since coming from Oklahoma City in a trade Feb. 18. Sunday was his ninth game and the second time in a week he has helped Denver pull out a victory. He scored 22 points in the fourth to beat the Lakers on Wednesday before Sunday’s heroics.
“Overtime, it was the D.J. show,” Mudiay said. “Just let him go and we’re going to ride with him.”
The game was tied when Williams missed a layup with 16.8 seconds left in overtime. After a timeout, Augustin drove the lane and was fouled by Raymond Felton. He calmly sank both free throws, and Mudiay blocked Wesley Matthews‘ 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“The play was for me to come off and curl to the corner, but Raymond Felton overplayed me so I just popped back, (Mudiay) hit me with a pass and I tried to drive and create something,” Augustin said.
Felton, who had a potential game-winning 3-pointer rim out at the end of regulation, gave Augustin credit.
“It was a good play by him,” he said. “I thought he had enough time to really pump fake and try and get up a shot. My thing was to try and contest it. Once he pumped fake, got me in the air, nothing I could really do at that point.”
David Lee had 18 points and 12 rebounds and J.J. Barea scored 15 points for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks seemed to have the game won in regulation when Williams scored 13 points in a span of 2:18 of the fourth. His layup gave Dallas a 106-102 lead with 21 seconds left.
Barton hit two free throws with 7.9 seconds remaining and then Mudiay stole the inbounds pass and fed Faried for a tying dunk with 3.3 seconds to play.
Both teams went cold at the start of overtime before Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer with 2:03 left to give Dallas a 111-108 lead. After the teams traded misses, Augustin tied it with a 3 with 54 seconds left.
Barton fouled Matthews behind the arc and he hit all three free throws to put Dallas ahead 114-108 with 35 to go, but Augustin answered again with a 3-pointer to tie it with 28 seconds left.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone is not a fan of playing zone defense, and he drove home that point in his pregame remarks.
“I only have two kids because I’m a man-to-man coach,” he said. “Once you have more than two kids you become a zone coach. We have used it as last recourse and it has not gone well.”
Mavericks: Coach Rick Carlisle commented on Broncos QB Peyton Manning, who is expected to announce his retirement from the NFL on Monday. “I got to know him in Indiana some. He was a terrific guy to be friends with. I’ve been extremely impressed with all of his accomplishments and the way he handles himself.” … Dallas attempted 41 3-pointers, three off its season high.
Nuggets: C Jusuf Nurkic was a DNP-CD for the seventh straight game. Nurkic (sore left knee) did appear on the injury list Sunday.
Mavericks: Host the L.A. Clippers on Monday.
Nuggets: Host New York on Tuesday.
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