After two wins and very good performances, Argentine basketball awaited an expected match: the duel between Facundo Campazzo and Luka Doncic in Denver-Dallas. However, that did not happen: after the two best games of Cordoba in the NBA, the coach Michael malone, for the first time, he did not count on him in the loss of the Nuggets to the Mavericks 124-117 in overtime.
The game, with Campazzo on the bench at the beginning, of course, showed a Denver that came out more determined in the defensive section, offering a greater commitment than had been seen in the first beats of the season, but without much precision in front of the basket .
Fortunately for the Nuggets, the same thing happened to Dallas. And despite the fact that the locals got a 9-point lead very quickly, the difference quickly disappeared.
That inexperience in the face of the basket for both (neither reached even 40% correct shots from the court) explained the short score of the first quarter, although a distant triple from Murray (who scored 13 points, almost half of the team’s total) on the cicada he gave a light (28-22) at the end of the first 12 minutes.
Monte Morris, as usual, was again Malone’s first change on the perimeter. And in that second quarter, without action for Campazzo, Denver took the maximum of 12 (37-26) taking advantage of a weak game by rival star, Luka Doncic, who committed several losses, just scored one of five triples and also remained touched on the left ankle.
Even so, the Slovenian charged the team (14 points) in the first half and prevented his team from going to the break with a greater disadvantage (52-43).
The third quarter showed the attacks imposing their will against the defenses and a Dallas that came dangerously close to 2 (76-74) with the triple as an ally and from the hot hand of Tim Hardaway Jr., who until then had not gravitated , thanks to a set in the last half of that period from 17 to 7 in favor of the Mavericks.
Therefore, everything was open for the last quarter.
The two previous games, both against Minnesota, had shown a similar trend: a Denver that came tight into the fourth quarter.
In both cases, Campazzo had appeared as a solution and based on different alternatives: in the first game, with his scoring; in the second, with his defense. It seemed that it was time for him to step onto the court to offer solutions, but Malone did not turn to him.
And it was from a distance that Dallas hit first and went ahead with the first basket of the fourth quarter (79-78). Although they did not shine per game, the game became emotional, with several changes of leadership on the scoreboard and some Mavericks that got to take 4 (101-97) at 3m55 from the end, to vary by way of three points – courtesy of intern Maxi Kleber-.
Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone. AFP photo
Nikola Jokic turned it around with another triple (102-101) and the game gained even more excitement as Kleber returned courtesies from the perimeter for 104-102.
Point by point, they were even at 106 in the final two minutes and only Jokic scored with a free kick in that span before the last possession of the night, a ball for Dallas after capturing a defensive rebound and calling for a timeout.
And there, when Doncic predictably doubled the mark, the Slovenian trusted the German Kleber, who had his hand on fire. And the European did not miss, he hit 3 with just over two seconds on the clock and gave another shake to the result.
Of course Nikola Jokic prevented it. Throwing a long double with indifference, almost as if he didn’t care about the final result, he holed the last ball clean and sent the game to supplementary with equality at 109.
There, Doncic’s figure prevailed, propped up by teammates who gained offensive rebounds at the hottest moment and who accompanied him in the distance. Thus, Dallas took the game 124-117.
The Slovenian, winner, exchanged a few words and clapped with Facundo Campazzo, who was left with the desire to enter.
It is difficult to understand Mike Malone’s decision with the Argentine, who had offered answers to unknowns about the team and who knows Doncic like few others.