Mavericks top Jazz for 6th straight win

By The Sports Xchange  |  Nov. 21, 2015 at 12:14 AM
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DALLAS -- While so many of last season's Western Conference playoff teams struggle out of the gate, the Dallas Mavericks continue to be one of the NBA's early season surprises.

Dallas won for the sixth consecutive time on Friday night, getting another spirited double-double effort from center ZaZa Pachulia, the club's Plan B acquisition after DeAndre Jordan spurned them, and point guard Deron Williams played superbly in a 102-93 victory over the Utah Jazz at the American Airlines Center.

The Mavs (9-4) have already tied their longest winning streak of last season.

Midway through the second quarter, Dallas took the lead at 33-32 and then outscored Utah 38-19 to break the game open with a 71-51 lead with about seven minutes to go in the third quarter.

"This is a great win for us," said Williams, who finished with 23 points, eight assists and six rebounds -- all of which were season highs. "Any time you come off the road you have a tendency to let down and we didn't let that happen. Our energy was great from the start. We lost the first quarter but we kept playing and battling. Our execution was great, especially down the stretch and I thought we did a great job defensively."

Utah (6-6), coming off consecutive big wins over Eastern Conference contenders Atlanta and Toronto, lost for the ninth consecutive time in Dallas.

The Jazz didn't go down without a fight, closing the third quarter on a 15-4 run to cut the deficit to nine points.

An 8-2 start to the fourth quarter got the Jazz within 84-79 with 7:10 to go. But then Pachulia scored two of his 15 points (to go with 12 rebounds) and guard J.J. Barea followed with bucket on a goaltending call to increase Dallas' lead to 88-79 with 5:51 left.

Williams, who spent his best seasons with the Jazz, drilled a 3-pointer with two minutes to go to give Dallas a 95-87 lead. A beautiful runner off the glass by Mavs guard Wesley Matthews, plus the foul for a three-point play with 1:30 left, made it 98-89 and buried Utah for good.

Matthews came up big when it counted after going just 2 of 11 from the floor before hitting the clutch runner.

"I don't look at the stats as far as what guys are doing shooting the ball," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said, answering a question about his decision to re-insert Matthews into the game. "I am looking at how hard they are going, where their concentration is, if they are sticking to the process. Wes is very consistent, he does not hesitate. We needed an experienced defender with size in there down the stretch and he was due to hit a shot. The driving three-point play was probably the biggest basket of the game to that point. And then Deron Williams finished the game off for us. We played off of him the last two minutes and he delivered."

Forward Dirk Nowitzki continued his hot-shooting start to the season with 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. Barea finished with 12 points and backup center Dwight Powell delivered another double-digit scoring game with 11 points.

Forward Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 22 points but twice split two free throws as Utah tried to slice deeper into Dallas' lead late in the fourth quarter.

Center Derrick Favors had 18 points and guard Alec Burks had 15 points but was just 1-for-5 from beyond the arc for the Jazz.

"I thought we played hard, but we weren't tough enough at times offensively in the first half," Snyder said. "When you have that and you can throw the ball to Dirk down the stretch and they score. They were able to score late and close it out. That's what those guys can do for you."

Once Dallas grabbed the 33-32 lead during the key second-quarter turnaround, it outscored Utah 23-11 the rest of the second quarter for a 56-43 halftime lead and never trailed again.

"The second quarter was the game," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "They turned it up physically and we didn't respond. It took us too long to respond. We came out in the second half, I wouldn't say we weren't playing hard, but we didn't react to the physicality of the game. Eventually we did, but we dug ourselves into a big hole."

NOTES: Mavericks F Chandler Parsons has seen his minutes steadily increase this week and he has responded with his three most efficient efforts -- 16-of-23 shooting in 60 minutes -- since coming off offseason knee surgery. He had nine points on 4-of-8 shooting in 22 minutes Friday. "This past week has been a real quantum leap just in terms of his legs being under him and his rhythm being better," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Things are moving in the right direction ... F Charlie Villanueva rejoined the team after leaving the road to return to Dallas for the birth of his second daughter, Aliyah. The 3-point specialist had suffered a left foot injury on Monday at Philadelphia but was active against the Jazz ... Dallas unveiled its green, 1980s hardwood classic jerseys for the first time this season ... The Mavs entered Friday's game with a nine-game home streak over the Jazz dating to Jan. 9, 2010. ... Jazz C Rudy Gobert entered Friday's game ranked second in the league in blocked shots (3.2), but managed just one against Dallas ... Four former Jazz players now play for Dallas: Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Devin Harris and Jeremy Evans. "If they're good enough for Jerry Sloan, they're good enough for me," Mavs owner Mark Cuban told reporters before the game. ... The Jazz were playing their ninth road game of the season in just their 12th overall game. They are one of five teams since 1975-76 to start a season with eight of the first 10 games on the road ... Utah returns home Monday to face Oklahoma City for just its second home game since early November.

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