SALT LAKE CITY — Forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points and moved into 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list while lifting the Dallas Mavericks to a 108-101 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Nowitzki made a blistering 12 of 14 shots on the night, including a fade-away 3-pointer with 1:54 remaining that all but clinched the win for Dallas. The All-Star ended up on the floor after the shot, which put the Mavs safely ahead 106-96.
Guard Monta Ellis finished with 16 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to help Dallas (39-27) maintain its position in the Western Conference’s final playoff spot.
Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke scored 20 points and handed out six assists, and backup center Enes Kanter contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds. However, Utah (22-43) dropped its second home game in a row after a six-game road trip.
The Jazz threatened to hand the Mavericks their second loss in as many nights, pulling within 93-92 with 4:50 remaining on a three-point play by center Derrick Favors.
Utah had a chance to go ahead by one with 3:51 to go, but reserve guard Alec Burks’ 3-point attempt was off.
The Mavericks responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Ellis and point guard Jose Calderon (10 points) to move in front 101-93. Burke trimmed into Dallas’ lead with a deep shot, but Ellis hit a floater and Nowitzki drilled his fourth trey (on four attempts) to give Dallas breathing room in the final two minutes.
Dallas is virtually tied for the seventh spot with Memphis (38-26), but the Grizzlies are percentage points ahead.
Utah fell into sole possession of last place in the West with the loss, its seventh in eight games.
Mavericks guard Devin Harris scored 12 points Wednesday after he tweaked his right Achilles heel Tuesday and played only seven minutes in Dallas’ 108-85 loss at Golden State. Harris played in Utah from 2011-12 after being acquired in the Deron Williams trade.
Sparked by Nowitzki’s hot shooting, Dallas hit 53.2 percent of its shots despite traveling to altitude and playing in a back-to-back situation. The Mavericks were 13-for-21 from 3-point range, including perfect nights for Nowitzki, backup Wayne Ellington (3-for-3) and Ellis (1-for-1).
The Jazz were held to 47.1 percent shooting and lost despite outscoring Dallas 56-32 in the paint.
NOTES: Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki grabbed sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with his first basket. Nowitzki entered the game tied with John Havlicek with 26,395 points. His next targets: No. 11 Dominique Wilkins (26,668) and No. 10 Oscar Robertson (26,710). He would surpass both if he scores his average (21.3 ppg) in the final 16 games this season. … Nowitzki surpassed Jerry West (17th, 25,192), Reggie Miller (16th, 25,279), Kevin Garnett (15th, 25,604), Alex English (14th, 25,613) and Havlicek (13th) this season. … Mavericks F Jae Crowder (abdominal strain) did not travel to Utah. His father, Corey Crowder, played for Utah in 1991-92. … Dallas F Vince Carter, 37, and Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, 51, were teammates in Toronto during the 2000-01 season. … Jazz G John Lucas III did not dress after spraining his right ankle in practice Thursday. X-rays were negative, but Lucas is wearing a walking boot.
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