DENVER - A layup. After making a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks into overtime and then completing an unorthodox and improbable three-point play to tie the game in the extra session, nothing more than an uncontested layup did in the Denver Nuggets in front of 18,256 at the Pepsi Center. With the game tied and 3.6 seconds to play in overtime, a defensive mix-up left the Mavericks’ Devin Harris open under the basket. Josh Howard fed Harris the ball, and Harris scored with 2.2 seconds left. After the Nuggets missed a desperation heave, the Mavericks escaped with a 114-112 victory. And the Nuggets, now 0-4 in overtime and 16-18 on the season, were left to contemplate a difficult loss. “That’s a tough way to lose a game with three seconds to go,” coach George Karl said. Denver had seemed doomed in regulation, down 100-97 with 7.5 seconds left after a pair of free throws by Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (27 points). But after a timeout, the Nuggets inbounded the ball to Earl Boykins, who couldn’t find space for a shot. Boykins passed to Carmelo Anthony, who took one dribble and launched a 3-pointer over Nowitzki from the top of the key. It splashed through the net just after the buzzer. “Carmelo made a good pop and got Nowitzki on his heels a bit and he made a great shot,” Karl said. The game did not go into overtime, however, until after officials watched a replay and determined that Anthony’s shot was a 3-pointer. And it was close, as Anthony’s right foot was barely off the line. In overtime, the Nuggets took a 105-102 lead on a 3-pointer by Boykins, but Dallas scored six straight points, including four by Jason Terry (27 points), to go up 108-105. The Nuggets cut the lead to one twice, but after Nowitzki made a jumper with 8.5 seconds left, Dallas led 112-109. This time, Dallas did not let the Nuggets get off a 3-pointer, instead committing a pair of fouls, the second of which sent Andre Miller to the line. After he made the first free throw to cut the Dallas lead to two, Miller intentionally missed. the ball hit the back of the rim and softly bounced into the lane. Kenyon Martin forced his way into position and tapped the ball off the glass and in. But that play, and Anthony’s buzzer-beater, went for naught. “We lost Devin Harris,” Karl said. “Greg (Buckner) and Andre, who usually work really well together got tricked.” And an open layup was the Mavericks’ treat. CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0365 or firstname.lastname@example.org NEXT Denver (16-18) at Houston (12-19) 6:30 p.m. Sunday, ALT, 1300/950 AM
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