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Mavericks rebound to defeat Jazz

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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SALT LAKE CITY — Losing in lopsided fashion to Portland on national TV didn’t sit well with the Dallas Mavericks.

They took it out on the Utah Jazz.

All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki had a big outing and the Dallas Mavericks rebounded from a rough outing the night before to the Trail Blazers with a 105-82 blowout win over the Utah Jazz on Friday.

“We were unhappy obviously with the result (Thursday) night with the outcome in the second half,” Nowitzki said, referring to the Mavs’ 108-87 TNT-televised setback at the Moda Center. “We talked about it. We had a long meeting about it (Friday) afternoon and just wanted to set a good tone again and keep it up really.”

That, they did against Utah.

Especially Nowitzki.

The forward only needed 28 minutes to notch a game-high 27 points in a brilliant offensive effort at EnergySolutions Arena. He found his outside stroke, hitting five 3-pointers and shooting 11-of-18 overall.

The 7-foot German also grabbed 10 rebounds to notch his first double-double of the season, helping Dallas improve to 4-2.

“Dirk knew how important this game was,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “Everybody better enjoy watching Dirk Nowitzki while he’s still playing. There isn’t going to be another one like him. This is a once-in-a-lifetime guy, and he’s a total game-changer. He was fantastic tonight.”

Guard Alec Burks scored a team-high 14 points, but the Jazz (2-4) couldn’t match the performance they had in Wednesday’s thrilling 102-100 victory over Cleveland.

Small forward Gordon Hayward, the hero against the Cavs, only scored 12 points on 3-of-9 shooting for the cold-shooting Jazz, who made a season-low 42.6 percent from the field in their worst offensive output this year.

“I thought they had us discombobulated offensively,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.

Center Tyson Chandler also had a double-double for the Mavs, scoring 15 points with 13 rebounds. Guard Monta Ellis chipped in 13 points and center Brandan Wright added 12 points off the bench.

The Mavs fared better in the second night of their Portland-Utah back-to-back than Cleveland did earlier this week. Both teams lost big in Rip City, but Dallas, despite arriving at its Utah hotel at 2:30 a.m. after its West Coast struggle, responded with an energetic performance and win in Salt Lake City.

“They’re a really good team,” Hayward said. “We weren’t executing offensively and when we’re not scoring it puts a lot of pressure on our defense. It’s hard against a team like that. They make you pay.”

Two nights prior, the Cavs lost a 102-100 decision thanks to Hayward’s buzzer-beating shot.

This was the second time in eight days the Mavericks soundly defeated the Jazz. Dallas earned a 120-102 win at home on Oct. 30 in a game in which it led by as many as 30 points.

The scoring disparity didn’t quite match that blowout, but Dallas had its most dominating second half of the season. The Mavs led by eight at halftime, but enjoyed a 53-38 advantage after halftime to win going away.

This was the first game in which the Mavericks outscored an opponent in the third quarter. Dallas earned a 26-18 edge in the third against Utah after being outscored by an average of 10.7 points in that period by its five previous opponents.

Dallas scored 32 points off of 23 Utah turnovers. The Mavs only had nine turnovers to go with 23 assists.

“The (23) turnovers, that’s a killer,” Snyder said. “It’s hard to overcome that many mistakes.”

The Jazz got some bad news in the first half when rookie Rodney Hood left the game for good with right Plantar fasciitis. The rotation player will be reevaluated Saturday.

Utah’s other rookie, point guard Dante Exum, scored a career-best 11 points with five assists.

Utah begins a weeklong, five-game road trip Sunday in Detroit.

Dallas returns home to kick off a four-game homestand Saturday against Miami.

NOTES: Mavs PG Raymond Felton doesn’t have any physical restrictions and could begin his four-game suspension beginning Sunday, the Dallas Morning News reported. Felton, who sprained his right ankle on Oct. 10, must serve a league-imposed suspension when he returns because of a weapons charge. … Jazz F Gordon Hayward, who has a career free-throw percentage of .816, entered the game having hit all 20 attempts this season. … The Jazz waived G/F Jordan Hamilton just eight days after claiming him off waivers. The transaction gives Utah a roster of 14 players, one shy of the league maximum.

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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