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Brandon Wade, Associated Press
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) attempts to grab a rebound away from Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, in Dallas.

DALLAS — Ty Lawson scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half and the Denver Nuggets faced little resistance on their way to a 115-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

The reigning champions were drubbed for a second straight game, routinely giving up easy baskets in both. They allowed Denver to score 20 unanswered points in the second quarter and were down by 33 late in the third.

Denver, playing its opener, scored on 19 of 25 second-quarter possessions. The Nuggets made only 12 baskets in the second half, yet still cruised to victory.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 20 points, and didn't play in the fourth quarter — for the second straight game, yet another indication of how badly things are going for the Mavs.