Game 51: Mavs vs. Jazz

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Mavericks vs. Jazz

Monta Ellis scores 22 points with Dirk Nowitzki adding 20 points to put the Mavericks over the Jazz at home 103-81.

DALLAS — After claiming a third straight win and surging eight games over .500 for the first time this season, the Dallas Mavericks hoped not to have a letdown Friday night against the team with the Western Conference’s worst record.

Facing the Utah Jazz for a second time this season, the Mavericks hoped to replicate a 103-93 home win over the Jazz back on Nov. 22. The Mavs also tried to match a season-best four-game winning straight, attempting to build off Wednesday’s 110-96 win in Memphis.

And after a dominant 103-81 victory, the Mavericks (30-21) sprinted nine games over .500 for the first time since Feb. 20, 2012, before embarking on a three-game road trip heading into the All-Star break.

“I like the way we played,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after the win. “It’s a combative team that we played. We held up over the 48 minutes, and we did a lot of good things. Other than the beginning of the game, I thought we were very solid.”

With former No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Williams finding success earlier on from the outside, the Jazz (16-33) came out clicking on all cylinders. The Mavs countered with a balanced attack, sharing the wealth to get back into the game after trailing by as many as seven. And with seven different Mavs scoring in the opening quarter, the home team finished the period on a 14-2 run to lead 28-23 after one.

Following 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki’s 3-pointer to open the scoring in the second stanza, the Mavs tried to create a separation on the scoreboard. Instead, the Jazz would continue to lean on Williams to stay within striking distance.

“The matchup was hard and they were doing some things to loosen him up,” Carlisle said of Williams’ early assault on the Dallas defense. “We had to change. We did and the guys did a good job with it. A guy’s not going to make every shot, even though it seemed like he was going to at the beginning.”

Not to be outdone, however, the Mavs swung the ball on offense, using stellar ball movement to take a 48-37 lead on point guard Jose Calderon’s triple from the wing. And with starting 2-guard Monta Ellis and Nowitzki combining to score 25 points, the Mavericks led by as many as 15 before taking a 54-43 advantage into the intermission.

Despite Williams’ 21 first-half points on 8-of-13 shooting and 5 of 7 from 3-point range, the Mavericks’ 52.6 percent from the field as a team bettered Utah’s 43.9 percent through two quarters. The Mavs also held a 23-19 rebounding edge while forcing the Jazz into nine turnovers in the half.

Following his second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 boards against Memphis, Mavs center Samuel Dalembert began to make his presence felt in the interior as the third quarter got underway. Ellis took it from there, hitting an array of shots in the period to keep the Jazz at bay. A thunderous finish to an alley-oop connection between sixth man Vince Carter and backup big man Brandan Wright then took the Mavs into the fourth with an 82-67 margin under their belt.

With Nowitzki and Ellis handling the scoring duties, the Mavericks looked to put the game away early in the fourth quarter. Calderon’s 3-pointer midway through the period to put the Mavs up 91-69 would ensure just that, leading Carlisle to pull his top contributors a short time later with the final verdict no longer in doubt.

Leading the way with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting was Ellis, adding four rebounds and four assists to boot before sustaining a strained right hamstring late.

“I ain’t worried about that. I always stay positive. We got the win, and now we’re going to work for this next one. … I’ve got screws and plates in my ankle. This is nothing — minor,” Ellis said while summing up the night following the injury.

Nowitzki pitched in 20 points on 5-of-9 shooting, playing just 26 minutes. Meanwhile, Calderon matched Dalembert’s 12 points, dishing out seven assists as well.

Going scoreless in the second half, Williams led three Jazz scorers in double figures with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting while hitting five of his eight attempts from behind the arc. But the Mavericks finished the game outshooting the Jazz, 46.9 percent to 40.8 percent, adding a 48-37 rebounding advantage and 14 points off Utah’s 16 turnovers.

“Before you hit the road for an extended period of time, you want to win that last game before you head on the road,” Nowitzki concluded while turning his attention to the Mavs’ upcoming road trip. ”We did a good job there in the second half. Not so good in the first, and they got off smoking. They got Williams nice and hot there, especially in the first quarter. But then I thought we did a good job defensively. … The defense in the second half and the rebounding is what got us the win.”

“I think we’re growing every day. We’ve just got to continue to help one another on defense, share the ball on offense and keep chipping away,”  Ellis added. “Get these last three games before the All-Star break and go from there.”

Note: The Mavericks will now begin a three-game road trip Sunday in Boston, taking on the Celtics for the first time this season. The game will air nationally on NBA TV and locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 5 p.m. CT.

After the All-Star break, the Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Tuesday, Feb. 18, facing off against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat. Miami leads the season series 1-0 after handing Dallas a 110-104 road loss back on Nov. 15. 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


All Stats

R. Jefferson, F 26 4-6 1-3 1-1 0 3 3 4 1 0 2 1 -4 10
M. Williams, F 28 8-15 5-8 0-0 1 4 5 2 0 0 0 3 -5 21
D. Favors, C 26 2-6 0-0 2-2 1 5 6 1 0 3 4 3 -6 6
G. Hayward, G 30 3-7 1-5 1-2 1 2 3 5 2 0 2 2 -13 8
T. Burke, G 33 5-15 3-9 0-0 0 1 1 5 0 0 1 1 -16 13
J. Evans 19 2-3 0-0 1-1 1 3 4 0 1 0 0 2 -17 5
A. Burks 19 0-7 0-2 0-4 1 6 7 3 2 0 4 2 -18 0
B. Rush 13 2-7 1-6 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -8 5
E. Kanter 15 3-4 0-0 0-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 -14 6
J. Lucas III 14 2-4 1-2 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 2 -6 5
R. Gobert 6 0-0 0-0 2-2 1 2 3 0 0 1 0 0 -2 2
D. Garrett 5 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 -1 0
A. Biedrins 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
I. Clark 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Thomas 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   31-76 12-35 7-14 6 31 37 22 7 4 15 20   81
    40.8% 34.3%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 27 3-5 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 3 2 1 3 2 10 6
D. Nowitzki, F 26 5-9 2-3 8-9 0 3 3 1 0 0 0 2 4 20
S. Dalembert, C 23 6-8 0-0 0-0 4 2 6 0 0 0 0 4 6 12
M. Ellis, G 33 8-17 1-3 5-6 0 4 4 4 1 0 1 2 11 22
J. Calderon, G 32 4-11 4-7 0-0 2 2 4 7 2 0 1 0 16 12
V. Carter 25 3-6 1-2 2-4 1 7 8 4 2 0 0 2 23 9
D. Blair 12 2-4 0-0 0-1 1 3 4 0 0 0 1 1 3 4
B. Wright 12 3-5 0-0 2-2 1 4 5 0 0 1 0 2 11 8
J. Crowder 17 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 3 0 1 4 10 0
D. Harris 17 3-11 1-1 0-0 1 4 5 2 0 0 2 0 10 7
S. Larkin 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0
B. James 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0
W. Ellington 3 1-2 1-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3
R. Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
G. Mekel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   38-81 10-18 17-22 11 37 48 24 10 2 9 20   103
    46.9% 55.6%                      

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Postgame: Monta Ellis

Mavs G Monta Ellis will undergo an MRI Saturday morning after sustaining an injury to his right hamstring. Ellis says he believes the severity of the injury is minor.


Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki comments on Friday's win over the Jazz, how the team locked down defensively in the second half, the schedule heading into the All-Star break and more.


Postgame: Devin Harris

Mavs G Devin Harris talks about Friday night's win against the Jazz, the timing of the All-Star break now that he's getting acclimated to playing again and more.


Dalembert Dunk Out

Jose Calderon drives and throws the lob to Samuel Dalembert who elevates for the alley-oop dunk.


Air Up There

Vince Carter drives and lobs it to Brandan Wright who goes high above the rim and rams home the tomahawk jam.


Shootaround: Devin Harris

Mavs G Devin Harris comments on how he's rounding back into shape, Jose Calderon's 3-point snub, Friday's game against the Jazz and more.


Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on the challenges the Jazz present Friday night, the addition of Devin Harris, the team's emphasis on rebounding and defense and more.

DALLAS — Despite facing the team with the Western Conference’s worst record, the Dallas Mavericks are not overlooking Friday night’s opponent.

Seeing the Utah Jazz put up a fight at the American Airlines Center already this season, the Mavericks (29-21) fully expect to again find themselves pushed for the better part of four quarters. Still, after already downing the Jazz (16-32) to a 103-93 road loss back on Nov. 22, the Mavericks would admittedly like to make short work of the Utah team before embarking on a three-game road trip.

“You’ve got to dismiss the record and you’ve got to look at how they play,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said with a great amount of respect for the Jazz. “They play an aggressive, angry style of play. I mean, they play hard and the things that they do they do hard. They crash the boards hard, and the things that they do well are the things that have been our challenges. We’ve got to have tons of respect for how they play. I mean, they came back from a big deficit last game and cut the game to a five-point lead when it was a 20-plus point lead. They’re just a team that has a lot of fight in them, so we’ve got to outfight them.”

“I’ve been on that team before,” Mavs reserve guard Devin Harris added, “and they’re a hard-playing team. Obviously, they didn’t get off to a great start, but I think they’re playing much better. They’ve had some injuries, but guys are kind of coming back. And you would expect them to give us a fight tonight.”

Looking to equal a season-best four-game winning streak with a victory Friday night, the Mavs will attempt to down the Jazz to a fourth straight loss overall. Meanwhile, the Mavericks will also try not to get caught looking ahead to their upcoming trip as they start a stretch of six of the next eight games on the road, playing the final home outing before the All-Star break Friday night.

“Well, I’m not looking that far ahead. I’m looking at tonight, and we’ve got to get through tonight,” Carlisle said. “We have really a limited number of games left in the season. The All-Star break seems to coming a little bit later every year, and every (game) is really big. Any time you let one slide, you’ve got to win two or three in a row to get back to where you would have been had you won. You know, it’s that exponential bad deal about losing, so every quarter is big, every minute is big and we’ll treat it that way. We’re never going to look too far ahead.”

Note: The Mavs will now return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Utah Jazz. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 103-93 home victory back on Nov. 22. 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 — After staging a second-half rally to end their five-game losing streak in Memphis, the Dallas Mavericks return home one final time before the All-Star break Friday against the Utah Jazz.

Led by 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks (29-21) upped their energy level in the second half Wednesday night, powering to a 110-96 victory to take the Southwest Division season series with the Grizzlies. And perhaps more importantly, the Mavs increased their lead over the Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings.

“I thought that was as good a second half we’ve played in this building in a long time. That was a big win for us,” Nowitzki said of the victory after leading the way with 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting.

He added: “We haven’t won in this building in a long time, so this is a very good win for us. I love that everybody contributed either on defense, rebounding or scoring. This was a great team effort.”

After surging a season-high eight games over .500, the Mavs will now attempt to run their overall winning streak to four Friday, looking to replicate a 103-93 home victory over the Jazz (16-32) back on Nov. 22. The Dallas team should have a golden opportunity to do so as Utah comes to town with the West’s worst record while sliding to three straight losses.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks will also try to take advantage of a rare home game, playing six of their next eight games on the road.  And while entering the night one game back of the sixth seed in the West standings, the Mavs will track to make up ground on the teams ahead of them to better position themselves for a sprint to the postseason.

“We’re at a point here where we’ve just got to keep pushing forward, keep working to get better and see where we can go with this,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle explained. “I think it’s important to look up and not look down, keep gunning for people ahead of us and have that mindset, instead of looking the other way and trying to hold on.  I mean, that’s not the way to go.”

“We talked a week ago or 10 days ago about wanting to finish before we hit the All-Star break and how we wanted to get some momentum with some wins, and that was definitely a great win (Wednesday),” Nowitzki added. “Hopefully there’s no letdown (Friday) against a hard-playing Utah team, and then we’re going to hit the road for a couple. Hopefully we can carry this momentum right through the break.”

Note: The Mavs will now return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Utah Jazz. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 103-93 home victory back on Nov. 22. 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

Shawn Marion has 1,696 career steals. He needs four thefts to become the 19th player in NBA history with at least 1,700 steals.

Marion has 1,194 career blocks and needs six rejections to become the 52nd player in NBA history with at least 1,200 blocks.

Monta Ellis has 982 steals and needs eight thefts for 1,000 in his career. He will become the 145th player in NBA history to reach 1,000 steals.

Ellis has 492 3-pointers and needs eight triples for 500 in his career.

Vince Carter has made 4,491 free throws and needs nine free throws for 4,500 in his career.

Devin Harris has 2,957 assists and needs 43 assists for 3,000 in his career.