Nuggets return home to meet rested Mavs

The Denver Nuggets had little time to digest their 101-94 road win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night before heading home to face the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.The Mavericks, on the other hand, will have a couple of days to think about how they lost to Portland on Sunday night.Dallas fell 121-119, with the key moment being the reversal of a foul called on Portland point guard Damian Lillard. With the Trail Blazers ahead by one, Portland coach Terry Stotts utilized a new rule enacted by the NBA this season and challenged the loose-ball foul.A review led the officials to wave off the foul, saying Lillard got all ball when he stripped Dorian Finney-Smith on a rebound with less than 10 seconds left.The Blazers went on to the win, and Dallas was left pondering what happened.”This game came down to one stop and one score and one challenge,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters after the game.Dallas must get over the replay challenge and get ready for the challenge of facing a Denver team that hopes to challenge for the Western Conference title in the spring. The Tuesday game will feature a pair of talented young big men in Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis and Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.The two 24-year-olds are off to solid starts to the young season, with Jokic already racking up a triple-double in an overtime win against Phoenix on Friday night.Jokic had just nine points in the win over the Kings but added 13 rebounds and hit a big 14-foot jumper with 1:13 left to put the Nuggets ahead by six.Denver also is getting some gritty play by 22-year-old guard Jamal Murray, who signed a five-year, $170 million contract extension over the summer. Murray scored a game-high 27 points against the Suns, then added 18 vs. the Kings.The Nuggets have won each of their first three games because of the play of their stars, but the supporting cast has come up big, too. Reserve forward Torrey Craig had a game-saving block on Suns guard Devin Booker in the closing seconds of overtime. Jerami Grant has given Denver a spark off the bench, and Gary Harris has played strong defense on opponents’ best perimeter player.The multiple contributions are fine with Jokic, who prefers to stay out of the spotlight.”I think the media and guys outside of basketball put me in front of the team,” Jokic said after the win over Phoenix. “Denver Nuggets is team basketball. There are no individuals. We are winning and losing as a team. It’s not me or anybody in front of the team.”Denver will be challenged by a Dallas team that boasts two of the NBA’s best young players, Porzingis and Luka Doncic.Porzingis, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury, is averaging 26.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.7 blocked shots through his first three games with the Mavericks.Doncic, 20, leads the team in scoring (29.3 points per game), rebounding (10.3 per game), assists (7.3 per game) and steals (2.3 per game).