Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/20

Game 1: Friday, December 20th
Game 2: Monday, February 3rd
Game 3: Saturday, March 8th
Game 4: Friday, April 11th

Jazz 93


    Coverage: FSRM

    7:30 PM ET, December 20, 2002

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    UTAH 26 21 29 1793
    DAL 24 17 18 2281

    Top Performers

    Utah: C. Cheaney 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Dallas: D. Nowitzki 28 Pts, 17 Reb, 1 Ast, 4 Stl

    Both Nelsons ejected in second half of Mavs' loss

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks' offense disappeared Friday night, and so did their club-record home winning streak.

    Matt Harpring

    Matt Harpring scored 19 points and Calbert Cheaney had a season-high 18 as the Utah Jazz ended the Mavericks 12-game home streak, 93-81.

    Dallas, the league's highest scoring team (104.9 points per game), finished with its second-lowest point total of the season against a stingy Utah defense. The Mavericks had their lowest output Wednesday in an 80-75 victory at Denver.

    "They play aggressive defense and contest each and every shot,'' said Dallas guard Michael Finley, who finished with 16 points but shot 7-for-21 from the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range. "Tonight the enthusiasm and our commitment to defense weren't there.''

    Karl Malone had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Greg Ostertag added a season-best 16 points to help Utah end a four-game losing skid.

    Malone said the key was a defense that limited Dallas to 33.3 percent shooting from the field (25-for-75), 4-for 24 on 3-pointers.

    "You just try to contain them. They're steady players, you know their habits. As much as you can, you've got to keep your body on them,'' Malone said.

    Dallas was the last team in the league to be unbeaten at home.

    Coach Don Nelson and his top assistant, son Donnie, weren't around to see the end. Both were ejected in the second half for complaining about the lack of foul calls against the physical Jazz.

    Dallas was whistled for a season-high 29 personal fouls and Utah shot 37 free throws, the most by a Mavericks opponent this season.

    "They felt the referees weren't giving us a fair shake,'' Finley said. "That's their job, if they see something is wrong, they have to contest it. But we as players got too much into critiquing the referees.''

    Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points and 17 rebounds while playing all 48 minutes despite a sprained ankle. Steve Nash added 25 for the Mavericks, who still have the league's best record (22-4).

    "We just couldn't get over the hump,'' Nowitzki said. "We got started too late. They're a veteran team that knows how to play with a lead. We were flat offensively and they had more energy.''

    The Jazz took a 76-59 lead into the fourth quarter.

    Dallas used a 7-0 run capped by Nash's layup with 3:27 left to cut it to 85-77, but John Stockton hit a leaning 12-footer with 2:30 remaining and the Mavericks could get no closer.

    The Jazz shot 48 percent and held a 47-41 halftime lead despite 18 first-half points from Nowitzki.

    Nash hit his first two free throws to extend his team record to 49 in a row, but missed his first attempt in the third quarter. The miss was Nash's first since Nov. 30.

    The elder Nelson picked up two technicals in a span of 1:14 in the third quarter.

    Nelson got his first with 4:22 left when he came onto the court to complain about the officiating, then drew his second with 3:08 remaining to earn his third ejection of the season.

    Donnie Nelson took over the team and was assessed a technical with 1:44 left in the third for continuing his father's complaints. The younger Nelson got his second with 5:21 left in the game when he walked half the length of the court to argue with referee Greg Willard. Assistant Del Harris ran the team the rest of the way.

    Game notes

    Dallas avoided its lowest scoring game of the season when Walt Williams hit two free throws with 12 seconds left. ... The Mavericks trailed after the first quarter, 26-24 -- the fourth time they've been behind at home after one quarter this season. ... Harpring had 13 first-quarter points. ... Utah had 25 assists to nine for Dallas.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 81
    FGM-FGA 33-71 (.465) 25-75 (.333)
    3PM-3PA 5-12 (.417) 4-24 (.167)
    FTM-FTA 22-37 (.595) 27-31 (.871)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-50 10-37
    Assists 24 9
    Turnovers 19 12
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 5 4
    Fast Break Points 6 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (3/0) 29 (5/1)

    Top Performers

    Calbert Cheaney Cheaney
    Points: 18
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 28
    Reb: 17
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 0