By MICHAEL KELLY Associated Press
DENVER (AP) — Maxi Kleber had 14 points, seven rebounds and a key block late to help the Dallas Mavericks beat the Denver Nuggets 109-106 on Tuesday night.
Nine Mavericks players scored in double figures on a night their two top scorers were held in check. Luca Doncic scored 12 points and Kristaps Porzingis had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Nikola Jokic had his second triple-double of the season, with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and Paul Millsap had 23 points and eight rebounds. Will Barton scored 19 but it wasn’t enough to prevent Denver from losing its first game of the season.
The Mavericks rallied from 11 down in the third quarter on the strength of their support players. They did most of their damage after Denver took a nine-point lead late in the third quarter. Tim Hardaway Jr., who finished with 14 points, hit three 3-pointers and Dorian Finney-Smith two during a 30-10 run that gave Dallas a 103-94 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
The Nuggets chipped away at the lead and got within 107-106 on Gary Harris’ 3-pointer and appeared to take the lead with 1:05 left when Maxi Kleber was called for goaltending on Murray’s layup.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle challenged the call and it was overturned after review, keeping Dallas ahead 107-106.
Doncic hit a driving layup and Jokic lost the ball out of bounds with 29.2 seconds left. After Doncic missed two free throws Jamal Murray, who had 16 points, missed everything on his 3-point attempt with 3.8 seconds left.
Mavericks: Doncic took a shot to the side midway through the first quarter when he collided with Gary Harris going or a loose ball. He was bent over before a timeout but stayed in the game. … C Dwight Powell made his season debut after missing the first three games with a left hamstring strain. He finished with four points in 13:34 of action.
Nuggets: Millsap’s previous season high was 11. He had that many in the first 3:34 of the game. … Denver was 12-1 in the second of back-to-back games last season. …
Mavericks: Host the L.A. Lakers on Friday night.
Nuggets: At New Orleans on Thursday night.