Boban Marjanovic scored a career-best 31 points and collected a season-best 17 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks recorded a 113-97 victory over the visiting Denver Nuggets on a Wednesday night in which the coronavirus outbreak delivered a lethal blow to the NBA season.
Luka Doncic added 28 points and nine assists for the Mavericks, while Jamal Murray scored 25 points for the Nuggets.
During the third quarter, the NBA announced that the season would be suspended following play on Wednesday night. The action was announced after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for coronavirus.
"It's really not about basketball or money," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN in an interview during the fourth quarter. "Literally, this thing is just exploding to the point where all of a sudden players and others have it. You think about your family. You want to make sure we're doing it the right way."
The excitement inside American Airlines Center in Dallas was high down the stretch of the contest even as word circulated throughout the arena.
Dallas held a 96-88 lead after Marjanovic scored a basket with 8:30 remaining.
The Nuggets pulled within 100-95 on Nikola Jokic's jumper with 5:14 left but Delon Wright drained a 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining and Marjanovic scored the next four points to push the lead to 107-95 with 2:17 remaining.
Doncic's two free throws increased the margin to 111-97 with 1:15 left as Dallas halted a two-game slide.
Maxi Kleber scored 15 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 14 for the Mavericks, who had a 52-40 rebounding edge and shot 45.7 percent from the field and 12 of 35 from 3-point range.
Will Barton added 23 points for Denver, which shot 47.0 percent from the field and hit 14 of 39 from behind the arc. Jokic recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists and Paul Millsap had 12 points.
Doncic scored 16 first-half points as Dallas led 57-50 at the break.
Doncic's three-point play gave the Mavericks a 63-54 advantage with 9:35 left in the third quarter. Denver responded with a 13-2 burst and took a 67-65 lead on Murray's basket with 6:30 left.
The Nuggets led by six late in the period before Dallas scored the last five to trail 85-84 entering the fourth quarter. The Mavericks began the final stanza with eight straight to take a 92-85 lead.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).