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Dallas hands Denver a rare home defeat

Playing without injured point guard Chauncey Billups, Nuggets fall, 104-96, dropping them to 13-2 in Denver, still the NBA's best home record.

December 28, 2009

Denver — Drew Gooden scored 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki hit a clutch three-pointer late in the game, lifting the Dallas Mavericks to a 104-96 win Sunday night over the Denver Nuggets.

Dallas handed the league's best home team a rare loss as the Nuggets fell to 13-2 at the Pepsi Center. Denver was without point guard Chauncey Billups, who has a groin injury.

The Mavericks also snapped a five-game regular-season slide against Denver, a team that dispatched them in five games during the Western Conference semifinals last season.

Denver was led in scoring by Kenyon Martin with 18 points. He also had 11 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony was held to 16 points, well below his league-leading average of 30.4 entering the game.

Leading by 14 midway through the final quarter, the Mavericks saw their lead trimmed to four, 98-94, with 2:34 remaining.

-- associated press

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