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Mavs Crush Slumping Jazz, 118-99

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Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points as the Dallas Mavericks coasted to a 118-99 victory over the slumping Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, just mere hours after Utah traded away franchise point guard Deron Williams. It marked the fifth straight loss for the Jazz, fourth since Jerry Sloan left the team. The game was tied at 63 and the Mavs used a 40-22 run from the 8:12 mark of the third quarter until the 7:37 mark of the fourth quarter to take a 103-85 lead and secure the win over the Jazz. There was another Peja-Sighting as Peja Stojakovic hit four three-pointers and scored 18 points. Shawn Marion contributed 16 points off the bench for the Mavericks. It was the fourth straight win for the Mavericks. The 19-point victory over Utah marked the largest margin of victory this season. The previous high was 16 points on three other occasions.

The Mavericks continued their streaking ways as they have won 14 of their last 15 games (including 15-17). Dallas shot a season-high 58 percent from the floor while scoring 118 points. The Mavericks are now 18-3 when they shoot at least 50 percent from the floor this season. Dallas was averaging 106.0 points per game over the last 14 games on 48.8 percent shooting. The Mavs held the Jazz to 99 points on 46 percent shooting from the floor. The symmetry continued as opponents had averaged 99.4 points per game and shot 45.8 percent against the Mavericks in that 14-game span.

The Mavericks improved to 3-0 against the Jazz this season with the win at the American Airlines Center. Dallas has now won the last 16-19 match-ups at home against Utah. The home cooking is working as Dallas recorded its eighth straight victory at American Airlines Center. It marks the Mavericks’ longest home winning streak of the season.

Did THAT Just Happen?!

- The Mavericks actually showed that they do have a killer instinct as they never really let the Jazz get back into the swing of things once they took control of the game. Everyone wanted to see how the Mavs would react to a team that was short-handed and they did a solid job of keeping their foot on the throat of the Jazz.

- Rodrigue Beaubois, remember him? He started for the second straight game and got lost in the shuffle as the Mavericks balanced scoring continued. The lightning quick guard finished with 10 points on 4-6 shooting (2-4 from three-point range). He also chipped in four assists and looked rather comfortable being a facilitator.

- Brendan Haywood posted his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 boards vs. Utah on Wednesday. He’s shooting 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from the floor over his last three games, while averaging 10.3 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game in that span. It was his second double-double in his last three games. Could Haywood be rounding into form?

- With his 18th point (22,196th career) at the 7:46 mark of the third quarter, Dirk Nowitzki moved past Clyde Drexler (22,195) and into 23rd place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He finished with 23 points and seven rebounds in the game. He now has 22,201 career points. Kevin Garnett (22,960) ranks 22nd on the all-time scoring list ahead of Nowitzki, followed by Elgin Baylor (23,149). Mavs fans get a chance to witness greatness and history when they watch Nowitzki in action.

- It appeared that most of the members of the Jazz mailed in the game, not the case for Al Jefferson. The Jazz center led Utah with 19 first-half points on 6-9 shooting (7-8 free throws). He finished with a game-high 30 points on 11-14 shooting (8-10 free throws).


Box Score Revelations

- Dirk Nowitzki (Robo-Nowitzki) was in full form as he scored 23 points on 9-15 shooting from the field. Nowitzki also grabbed seven rebounds, a drastic difference compared to his one rebound performance against the Phoenix Suns. He mentioned on Tuesday that it would be ideal for the team to continue the balanced scoring attack while he stays within the 10-20 shot attempt range. It looks like it was mission accomplished against the Jazz.

- At one points, Jason Kidd had as many assists as the Jazz had as a team (12). The point guard finished with a game-high 12 assists and he did not play in the fourth quarter. Kidd has led the team in assists 45 times this season (including ties) and the Mavs are 34-11 in such games. Dallas is 16-4 on the year when he drops at least 10 dimes. He recorded 35 games with 10-plus assists last season (30-5 record).

- The Peja-Sighting was in full effect as he scored 18 points on 7-9 shooting from the field (4-5 from long range). The four three-pointers tied a season-high for Peja or "Trey-ja". He’s now shot 59 percent (23-of-39) from the field and 54.5 percent (12-of-22) from three-point range over his last four games, while averaging 15.5 points per game in that span. Rick Carlisle mentioned after the game that Stojakovic went home to New Orleans to spend time with his family and continue working on his shooting and his overall conditioning.

- The 19 turnovers were disturbing. The had eight turnovers in the first quarter and finished the half with 12. There was rust and carelessness with the ball. The game could have been even uglier for the Jazz if the Mavs stayed within their normal range of turnovers, 13.6 turnovers/game.

- The Mavericks continued their hot scoring with 118 points in the game. Dallas has now scored 100-plus points in 13 of its last 14 games. The Mavericks are 30-2 when they reach the century mark. The Mavs also had seven players score in double figures: Nowitzki (23), Stojakovic (18), Marion (16), Jason Terry (13), JJ Barea (13) and Haywood (12).


Tweetings From the Mavs Universe

- "Carlisle mentioned before the game that teams often look out of sorts in the first half of first games back after all-star break. He right."


- "Big Wood is tired of big splinters apparently. Been working on those free throws."


- "Just got my first peek at Andre Kirilenko's new hair. Isn't there some kind of technical foul called in situations like this?"


- "When Carlisle yells, he looks even more like Fire Marshall Bill."


- "Peja is shooting lights out! That's the reason why we got him."



If You Don't Like What I Said, Read What They Said

- Rick Carlisle on Brendan Haywood's performance, "I like his aggression; he went after the ball. He’s doing a good job finishing at the rim. His free throw shooting has gotten a lot better. We’ve got a three-headed monster at center, and we’ve got three guys that are all different. We need them all."

- Rick Carlisle on the balanced scoring attack, "You’ll have a lot of guys in double figures when neither team is guarding anybody. That’s a fact. We need to do better defensively, and we have to have balance. If there are nights that we don’t have at least four guys in double figures, we’re probably going to lose. The balance is key. It’s helped take the stress of the monster night off Dirk’s shoulders—and some nights we’re going to need him to have huge games. But it’s better for us if we get more guys involved."

- Brendan Haywood on the new-look Jazz, "It was a little different. We are used to Deron being out there, he was a big part of what they do. But, at the end of the day we can’t feel sorry for them, we have to handle our business and get out there and take care of business and we did that tonight."

- Peja Stojakovic on the offense, "This is a very unselfish team and not only that, you are playing with guys who really know how to play basketball. Sometimes you don’t even have to call a play on the offensive end, you just put the ball in (Kidd's) hands and with ball movement and player movement you get all the good shots."

- Dirk Nowitzki on what led to the early troubles, "It wasn’t pretty there in the first quarter. What really hurt us the most were the turnovers. Just not quite as sharp as we wanted to be."

- Dirk Nowitzki on the offense, "We were really making shots and sharing the ball. We had (seven) guys in double figures again, and that's how we've been winning lately...sharing the ball, passing the ball, making shots."

- Rick Carlisle on the night, "The laser-like focus just wasn’t where it needed to be. In the second half we were a lot better. We’ve got to build on the second half. It’s a good win, it’s a good team, even without Deron Williams. Those guys play hard. They only played one point guard so they had some makeshift lineups, but they can play. It was a win we needed to get."


BG's Baller of the Game:

Baller status has been granted to Peja Stojakovic. Coach Carlisle went as far as saying that Stojakovic is arguably one of the top five or six shooters of all time. If the team can get him good looks, the chances are great that he will reward the team with a made basket. Dirk Nowitzki mentioned that when Stojakovic is shooting the ball like he is from long-range, the team will be incredibly tough to guard due to his ability to spread the floor. It appears that the sharpshooter just needed time to get his legs under him, get his conditioning set and the shots would start to fall. The Mavericks have a lot of weapons that can hurt you on any given night. When the Mavs have a Peja-sighting, the balance and depth only continues to get stronger.


25 games remain for the Mavericks before the playoffs arrive. The Mavericks will brace for whatever may come or may not come during the trade deadline on Thursday. MMB will be camped out at Mavs HQ during Thursday in anticipation of any moves that may transpire. Dallas will also continue working as they prepare for their next game against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, February 26. Dallas has won four of the last five meetings with Washington, including 10 of the last 15. The Mavericks have won 9-12 on the road against the Wizards, including the most recent two games in Washington. The game will be the first game in a set of back-to-back road games. They will head up to Canada to take on the Toronto Raptors on the 27th.


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