Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 12/4

Game 1: Saturday, December 4th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 23rd
Game 3: Saturday, April 9th

Mavericks 101

(36-16, 19-7 away)

Jazz 83

(17-36, 11-15 home)

    Coverage: KJZZ

    7:00 PM ET, February 23, 2005

    EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 30 21 24 26101
    UTAH 20 30 19 1483

    Top Performers

    Dal: D. Nowitzki 29 Pts, 8 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    UTAH: R. Bell 16 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    Dallas endures chippy competition

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- After blowing one big lead, the Dallas Mavericks made sure their next one was never in jeopardy.

    The Mavericks overcame being called for 34 fouls with strong shooting and even stronger defense, winning their fifth straight 101-83 over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.

    Dallas scored the first eight points of the game and led by as much as 15 in the first quarter, but Utah gradually came back and took a few slim leads before the Mavericks finally shut down the Jazz in the second half.

    "I thought in the first half they really kept in the game by getting to the foul line," said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 16 of his 29 points in the second half to lead Dallas. "They really attacked the offensive glass and I thought in the second half we just took those things away. We tried to keep them in front of us in the penetration. We tried to keep them off the line. Don't do all those ticky-tack fouls. That really worked for us."

    Josh Howard added 18 points and nine rebounds and Michael Finley scored 24 for the Mavericks, who outscored Utah 26-14 in the fourth quarter.

    Dallas committed 13 more fouls than Utah in a chippy game that included four technical fouls, two flagrants and several others that could have been called for more than just a personal foul.

    "We can be physical or we can back down," Dallas guard Jason Terry said. "We chose to be physical and get to the free-throw line."

    Utah had its worst shooting night of the season, going 23-for-75 from the floor but stayed in it by making 36 of 39 free throws.

    Raja Bell led Utah with 16 points and Howard Eisley and Andrei Kirilenko each scored 12.

    The week off for the All-Star break didn't help the Jazz, who have lost five six.

    "We got confused on what we were doing defensively a couple of times as we came down the stretch," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "We also got confused as to what we were trying to do offensively."

    The Jazz had nothing left down the stretch and could not stop Nowitzki and the Mavericks, who had just four turnovers in the second half after committing 12 in the first.

    Tempers flared several times in the game and although there were no fights, there were plenty of times it looked close to happening as the fouls kept getting harder.

    The frustration seemed to effect the Jazz, who were without leading scorer and rebounder Carlos Boozer, who is out with a foot injury.

    "Utah always plays physical," Finley said. "They play with that type of tenacity. That's what kind of player Coach Sloan was when he was in the league and it's carried over to this team."

    Referee Steve Javie warned both coaches late in the third quarter to knock off the complaining after every call. Javie called Sloan for a technical a few minutes later, after Mehmet Okur knocked over Darrell Armstrong while running through a screen. Sloan felt Armstrong wasn't set and let official Michael Smith know it.

    Finley made the technical free throw for Dallas' fifth straight point and Armstrong made both his free throws to give the Mavericks a 75-69 lead entering the final period.

    Howard gave the Mavericks a 79-73 early in the fourth when he hit a wide-open baseline jumper, starting a 7-0 run that Finley capped with a 3-pointer and Dallas pulled away from there.

    Game notes

    Dallas opened the game with a 16-4 run. ... Utah's Jarron Collins was called for a flagrant foul in the first quarter when Nowitzki drove to the basket and received a straight-arm to the chin. Nowitzki stayed on the floor for a few minutes, then got up and hit both free throws. ... The Jazz placed point guard Raul Lopez (knee) on the injured list Wednesday and replaced him with Keith McLeod, who started against the Mavericks but had just five points and two assists.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 101 83
    FGM-FGA 34-72 (.472) 23-75 (.307)
    3PM-3PA 8-17 (.471) 1-14 (.071)
    FTM-FTA 25-32 (.781) 36-39 (.923)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-41 14-42
    Assists 19 14
    Turnovers 16 21
    Steals 14 7
    Blocks 4 7
    Fast Break Points 16 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 34 (2/1) 23 (2/1)
    Largest Lead 18 1

    Top Performers

    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 29
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Raja Bell Bell
    Points: 16
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0