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Game 66: Mavs at Jazz presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Mavericks vs. Jazz

Dirk Nowitzki scores 31 points and moved into sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the all-time NBA scoring list in the Mavericks' win over the Jazz.

SALT LAKE CITY — Failing to capture their third straight win Tuesday night at Golden State, the Dallas Mavericks quickly faced another challenge while trying to conquer an EnergySolutions Arena crowd that had tormented them in recent visits.

Looking to end a three-game skid on the Utah Jazz’s home floor Wednesday, the Mavericks tried to quickly bounce back from a 108-85 loss to the Warriors the night before. The Mavs also attempted to seize a 3-0 lead in the season series, hoping not to get caught overlooking the Jazz with perennial Western Conference power Oklahoma City looming on Sunday.

The Mavericks (38-27) then leaned on the efficient play of 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki to respond on a quick turnaround, ending their drought in Utah with a 108-101 victory.

“We knew this was a big game,” Nowitzki said after the win. “After dropping one yesterday and a bad offensive night, we talked about how we had to set a more aggressive offensive tone tonight. And I think that’s what we did.”

Following his 12-point outing Tuesday to move into a tie with John Havlicek (26,395) for 12th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, Nowitzki quickly took sole ownership of the spot with back-to-back jumpers to open the game. The 7-footer wouldn’t stop there, hitting four of his five shots in the first period to move into double figures.

“I had the first play called right away a post-up and I figured with a smaller defender on me they might double-team, but I didn’t even wait on it. I was going to get a shot up and quick-shoot it regardless to jump-start it. … I was really looking to get my groove early and set a tone,” Nowitzki said of his quick start.

Reserve guard Devin Harris then returned to the floor, joining the action after exiting during the second quarter of Tuesday’s loss with a sore right Achilles. Still, with the Jazz (22-43) also off to a hot start, the Mavs trailed 25-23 at the end of the opening quarter.

Behind the play of backup big man Brandan Wright and the Dallas reserves, the Mavericks began to seize the momentum early in the second stanza. Swingman Wayne Ellington also tried to find his stroke in order to fill the void of second-year standout Jae Crowder, who missed his second straight game due to an abdominal strain.

Sixth man Vince Carter followed suit, catching fire from behind the 3-point arc. But the Jazz would counter with a heavy dose of rookie point guard Trey Burke and center Enes Kanter off the bench. Still, following Harris’ crossover and step-back jumper to close the half, the Mavs entered the intermission with a 55-53 edge.

Led by Nowitzki’s 16 first-half points on 6-of-7 shooting, the Mavericks’ 51.2 percent as a team bettered the Jazz’s 48.8 percent from the field at the other end. The Mavs also overcame Utah’s 23-19 rebounding advantage, sharing the wealth as 10 different Dallas players scored in the first two quarters.

With his team locked in a dogfight, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle would let his emotions get the better of him while being assessed a technical foul at the 9:37 mark of the third quarter for arguing with officials. But Nowitzki would settle his team with consecutive perimeter jumpers before the starting backcourt of Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis lent some assistance.

And after Ellington’s 3-pointer cooled a 10-0 Utah run, the Mavs took an 80-78 margin into the fourth.

But the Jazz would come right back to open the final quarter, forcing consecutive Dallas turnovers while regaining the lead. However, Ellington again intervened, connecting on a corner trey off Harris’ feed to tie the game at 83-all.

After the Mavs surged ahead up four, Nowitzki headed to the bench for a brief breather with 7:12 left to play. The 7-footer returned with 4:50 remaining, only to see his team up just one at 93-92.

But Nowitzki would gladly see his teammates respond to his return to the action as the Mavs grabbed a 98-93 advantage on Ellis’ 3-pointer, forcing a Utah timeout with 3:35 left on the clock. Calderon added a trey of his own as the Mavs began to pull away. And after Nowitzki’s 3-pointer from the wing lifted the Mavericks to a 106-96 lead with 1:48 remaining, the visitors put the finishing touches on the win at the free-throw line in the final seconds.

Scoring 31 points on 12-of-14 shooting, Nowitzki led five Mavericks in double figures while also snatching down eight rebounds.

“[Nowitzki] really led our team tonight,” Carlisle said with high praise for his superstar. “Our guys played with some real emotions. They knew the importance of the game, but Dirk was great from start to finish. I mean, 12-for-14 is ridiculous and 4-for-4 from three. It’s hard to do much better than that.”

Meanwhile, Ellis fell just shy of a triple double, scoring 16 points, dishing out 11 assists and grabbing seven rebounds to boot. And while Calderon scored 10 points in the first unit, Harris also added 12 points and Ellington pitched in 11 points in reserve action as the Mavs finished with 43 bench points.

“I thought really it was a great team effort,” Nowitzki said while praising the play of his teammates. “I thought Devin had a fantastic effort, I thought Wayne gave us some big shots … and I thought it was a great team effort.”

“The bench played great, and I thought Ellington really played a key role in the game,” Carlisle added. “He was super efficient, solid on defense and hit timely shots. And Harris did what he’s been doing. I mean, he gave us a little bit of everything – playmaking and scoring. … We knew how hard a game this was going to be, and it was every ounce as hard as we thought.”

Burke led five Jazz players in double figures with 20 points on 8-of-18 shooting, but the Mavericks’ 53.2 percent as a team bettered Utah’s 47.1 percent. The Mavs also overcame their 13 turnovers, which led to 15 Utah points, in addition to a 40-39 rebounding disadvantage.

“This is a good win for us,” Ellington concluded. “It’s one of those wins where going into not playing for a few days you can feel good. We’re going home off the road and getting a little bit of rest to get ready for Sunday.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude a stretch of three straight road games Sunday in Oklahoma City, taking on the Thunder for a second time this season. Oklahoma City leads the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavs a 107-93 road defeat back on Nov. 6. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to action at American Airlines Center next Monday, hosting the Boston Celtics. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 102-91 road win back on Feb. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

Dallas Mavericks
Shawn Marion, F342-60-10-015620013-24
Dirk Nowitzki, F3312-144-43-3088000212231
Samuel Dalembert, C152-30-00-004410135-14
Monta Ellis, G356-151-13-4167111041116
Jose Calderon, G313-82-42-201150001110
Vince Carter243-92-50-012330003-118
DeJuan Blair101-20-02-213400001-14
Devin Harris195-91-31-1033300321012
Wayne Ellington124-53-30-011210002911
Brandan Wright154-70-00-00110110268
Bernard James70-10-00-00000000210
Jae Crowder00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
42-7913-2111-125343926221323 108
Utah Jazz
Richard Jefferson, F294-121-53-403310020-912
Marvin Williams, F211-40-30-001101011-72
Derrick Favors, C276-80-03-441511114015
Gordon Hayward, G343-71-51-206660033-28
Trey Burke, G358-183-91-101160000-420
Jeremy Evans184-70-01-12461001319
Alec Burks314-120-25-604483022-313
Enes Kanter288-130-02-3561100102-818
Diante Garrett122-40-20-003301013-34
Andris Biedrins00-00-00-00000000000
Ian Clark00-00-00-00000000000
Rudy Gobert00-00-00-00000000000
John Lucas III00-00-00-00000000000
Brandon Rush00-00-00-00000000000
Malcolm Thomas00-00-00-00000000000
40-855-2616-2111294023621118 101

Nowitzki’s Falling Triple

Dirk Nowitzki knocks down the triple while falling to the deck.


Nowitzki Records 31

Dirk Nowitzki records 31 points and moves to the 12 spot on the all-time NBA scoring list in the Mavs win over the Jazz.


Dirk Passes Havlicek

Dirk Nowitzki passes John Havlicek for 12th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.


Dirk’s Tough And-one

Dirk Nowitzki takes the contact from the defender and drills the off-balanced shot plus the foul.

SALT LAKE CITY — Unable to keep the momentum of back-to-back wins over playoff-contending teams going Tuesday at Golden State, the Dallas Mavericks hope to embrace a new opportunity Wednesday night in Utah.

Looking to respond to their lackluster performance during Tuesday’s 108-85 loss to fall percentage points back of Memphis for the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff picture, the Mavericks (38-27) will go in search of a third dominant win of the season over the Jazz (22-42). The Mavs will also try to get back on track, hoping to salvage their playoff positioning before contending with Western powerhouse Oklahoma City next Sunday to conclude a three-game stretch on the road.

“I don’t think we are in a situation to think about seeding,” point guard Jose Calderon said. “I think right now we’re in a situation where we’ve got to win every game. It doesn’t matter. We want to be in the playoffs, but I think it’s no time to think about where you want to be. … I think right now it’s just trying to be there.”

“I mean, it’s going to be tough, especially with the schedule we’ve got remaining. We’ve got to fight every day and then go from there,” added 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, who despite Tuesday’s loss moved into a tie with John Havlicek (26,395) for 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

The Mavs have won 10 of 13 in the series with the Jazz, but the Dallas team has also dropped three straight in Utah. And although the Jazz has fallen in six of the last seven contests overall to slide into a tie with Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers for the worst record in the West, the Mavericks know collecting a win won’t be easy.

Dallas could be forced to take the court minus one of its top contributors, after reserve guard Devin Harris exited Tuesday’s loss in the second quarter and didn’t return due to a sore right Achilles. And with Harris’ status unclear going forward, the Mavs may have to look elsewhere for a spark to get back in the win column.

Led by Harris’ season-high 20 points, the Mavericks finished Sunday’s 105-94 home win over Indiana with a 41-4 advantage in bench scoring. However, with Harris sidelined, the Mavs’ reserves were outscored 50-37 against the Warriors.

“Devin being out hurt us. I mean, it’s as simple as that,” Nowitzki confessed. “If he’s going to miss some more games, it’s going to be tough for us to get in. We need his production off the bench, and we need his quickness and ability to drive and get in the lane. We missed some of that off the bench (Tuesday) for sure.”

Note: The Mavericks enter Salt Lake City for Wednesday’s showdown against the Utah Jazz. Dallas leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 8 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to action at American Airlines Center next Monday, hosting the Boston Celtics. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 102-91 road win back on Feb. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting