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For Mavs, 8 is Great in a 93-81 Victory

The Mavs and Jazz battled on Friday Night, putting up their respective seven-game winning streaks on the line and the Mavericks continued streaking with a 93-81 victory.  The Mavericks are now riding an 8-game winning streak.  Coming into tonight, the Mavericks had lost their last 5 match-ups in Utah, including 7 out of the last 10. It took nearly four years, but the Mavericks finally got an elusive victory in Utah.  The win also gave Dallas an impressive 7-1 record on the road.

The Mavericks were led by Dirk Nowitzki with a game-high 26 points.  Defense continues to be the story for the Mavericks as an 11-0 run to start the 4th quarter gave the Mavericks a double-digit lead and they never looked back.  The fourth quarter run led to the Mavericks being able to avoid using Jason Kidd and Tyson Chandler during the final frame.  That should pay huge dividends for the Mavericks with the back-to-back tomorrow evening in Sacramento.

Fouls plagued Tyson Chandler all night as he only played 17 minutes.  Brendan Haywood came up in a huge way, especially late, as he had 4 points, 5 rebounds and a block in the final frame.  He did a great job controlling the paint on both sides of the floor.

The Mavericks had to battle through a difficult night on the boards.  They lost the battle 43-37 and were -9 in the offensive rebound department.  Despite the rebounding disadvantage, the Dallas defense was suffocating the Jazz by only allowing them to shoot 39.2% from the field, 20 assists and the 81 points.  During the Jazz win-streak, they were shooting 49.8%, averaged 26.9 assists and held opponents to 90.4 points per game during the streak.

Point guard play was huge for the Mavericks as Jason Kidd and JJ Barea combined for 23 points, 9-16 shooting from the field and 11 assists.

This marks the 10th game on the season where the Mavericks have held their opponent to 10 points or more below their season average.  Utah came into tonight averaging 102 points/game.  It also marks the 5th time in the season where the Mavericks have stopped a significant winning streak by the opposition.  They did it against Boston, New Orleans, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.  You can now add Utah to the list and that's a list of a who's who of elite teams in the NBA.

Quick Notes:

- Bucking a trend: As Dirk Goes (in Utah), So Go the Mavericks: The Mavericks were 0-7 in Utah when Nowitzki scores fewer than 29.  He scored 26 but he was filthy shooting 12-18 from the field and 7-9 from the field in the second and third quarter.

- Utah had been 10-0 on the season when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, the Mavericks won the battle 13-14.  Utah is now 4-6 when they commit more turnovers than their opponent.

- Dallas survived while losing the points in the paint battle.  Utah won the battle in the paint 42-38.  The Jazz had averaged 47.2 points in the lane during their home streak against the Mavericks, many of which have come thanks to open looks provided by Deron Williams. Dallas had allowed an average of 37.8 points in the paint.  The Jazz are now 11-3 when they score more points in the paint than their opponent.

- Dominique Jones had his second game in Frisco with the Texas Legends.  The Legends won the game 111-103 against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.  Jones played 29 minutes and scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting from the field, he also chipped in 3 steals and 3 assists.  Jones did most of his work while attacking the basket, he looked incredible during transition offense.  I spoke with Donnie Nelson before the game and they're pleased with what they're seeing with Jones in game action and practicing with the Legends, the emphasis will continue to be developing the jump shot while in Frisco.