Augustin’s free throws lift Nuggets over Mavs in OT, 116-114

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DENVER (AP) — D.J. Augustin scored Denver’s last eight points of overtime, 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.

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.

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 Emmanuel Mudiay blocked Wesley Matthews‘ 3-pointer at the buzzer.

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.

Data curated by PointAfter

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.

GETTING DEFENSIVE

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.”

TIP-INS

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.”

Nuggets: C Jusuf Nurkic was a DNP-CD for the seventh straight game. Nurkic (sore left knee) did appear on the injury list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Host the L.A. Clippers on Monday.

Nuggets: Host New York on Tuesday.

Watch Jerry West’s emotional memories of trading for/his relationship with Kobe Bryant

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Jerry West has never understood why people thought he was brilliant for recognizing the talent of a 17-year-old Kobe Bryant coming out of high school. To him it was obvious.

If it had been obvious (and if that era had not frowned on the development that came with drafting high school players), Kobe wouldn’t have been a Laker, and NBA history might be very different.

For West, Kobe was not just another player, he was like a son. West talked about it on the well done TNT special commemorating Kobe Tuesday night.

What those neatly packaged TNT clip does not show is just how difficult and emotional it was for West to talk about Kobe.

West has had a life of incredible highs, but also more lows and pain than many — abused by his father and battling depression his entire life — and this is another emotional tax on the NBA legend.

Joel Embiid returns to Philadelphia rotation after nine-game absence

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When you saw the image of Joel Embiid‘s dislocated ring finger facing a direction no finger should face, you knew he was going to miss some time (even though he had it taped up and returned to that game). Embiid had surgery to repair a torn radial collateral ligament on the ring finger of his left hand. Ultimately he missed nine games while he recovered.

Tuesday night against the Warriors, Embiid will be back.

He will have a soft wrap on his left hand that has been cleared by the league.

Philadelphia went 6-3 while Embiid was out.

Ben Simmons stepped up — in his last five games (before Tuesday) he averaged 24 points a game on 70.6 percent shooting, plus 10 rebounds and 8.6 assists a game. Without Embiid in the paint or taking up touches, Simmons took over the offense and looked much more comfortable in his role.

However, the Sixers’ offensive rating in those nine Embiid-less games was 104.9, 29th in the NBA (even in the last five it was 103.2, still 29th in the league). Simmons may have been playing better but the offense was not.

When Simmons and Embiid share the court this season, their offensive rating is 106.7 — not great, but better than without Embiid playing.

Victor Oladipo returns to Pacers Wednesday, likely off bench with minutes limit

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Indiana has gone 30-17 this season and sits as the five seed in the Eastern Conference — and Wednesday they get their best player back.

Victor Oladipo — the former Most Improved Player and All-NBA team member who has been out for most of a year with a right quad tendon rupture — practiced with the Pacers on Tuesday and, as expected, will make his return to the court Wednesday night against the Bulls.

Coach Nate McMillan would not say how he planned to use Oladipo but, considering the minutes limit, off the bench seems the most likely move. McMillan said the team would revisit the minutes and role after the All-Star break.

While Milwaukee has separated itself atop the East, the next five teams — Miami, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, and Indiana — are all within 2.5 games of each other and could end up in any order. If Oladipo can return close to the All-NBA form he was in prior to his injury, the Pacers become a big threat to break out of that group. If nothing else, they become a much tougher out in the postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo out for Bucks-Wizards (shoulder)

Giannis Antetokounmpo
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Giannis Antetokounmpo is on track to repeat as Most Valuable Player.

So, any game he misses is notable.

Bucks:

Expect to see more Ersan Ilyasova and D.J. Wilson. With the trade deadline approaching, this could even be a showcase game for Wilson.

Milwaukee is still favored over the Wizards. The Bucks have outscored opponents by 7.8 points per possession without Antetokounmpo this season. They’re deep.

Of course, anything can happen. It’s only one game in a long NBA regular season.

Which might something to do with Antetokounmpo sitting. Even if he plays in Milwaukee’s next game, vs. the Nuggets on Friday, he’ll get six straight days off. That’s a nice break.