NBA Game Summary - Utah at Dallas
(Sunday, April 16th)
Final Score: Dallas 111, Utah 95
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki had 22 points and seven rebounds to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 111-95 win over the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center.
Jason Terry added 16 points and six assists and Josh Howard had 18 points for the Mavericks, who remain only 1 1/2 games behind San Antonio for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Jerry Stackhouse scored 20 points and Erick Dampier had 13 points and 12 boards for Dallas, which ended a two-game slide and can at best only tie the Spurs for the best record in the conference.
Carlos Boozer had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who were eliminated from the Western Conference playoff race due to their loss and Sacramento's win against the Hornets on Sunday.
Mehmet Okur added 17 points and Deron Williams scored 16 and dished out nine assists for Utah, which had a five-game winning streak halted.
The Mavs' 33-24 lead after one quarter was cut to 38-35 early in the second when Devin Brown drained a three-pointer 3 1/2 minutes into the stanza. However, Dallas answered with a 12-2 surge to forge ahead 50-37 when Adrian Griffin hit a pair of free throws and the Mavs used that to coast into the break with a 56-48 advantage.
Utah cut the deficit to 65-58 after Andrei Kirilenko hit 1-of-2 free throws 3 1/2 minutes into the half, but Nowitzki and Terry spearheaded an 11-2 run that began to give Dallas its cushion. Nowitzki scored the first five points of the run and Terry hit a pair of threes to cap it for a 76-60 lead.
Dallas later scored 12 of the final 15 points of the third to carry a 92-72 cushion into the fourth.
"We set the tone early," said Stackhouse. We were able to come out defensively and get some stops."
The final quarter was purely academic as the Mavericks never let the Jazz back into the game.
"There were really a lot of things we didn't do well," said Williams. "We didn't rebound well, they out hustled us. They wanted the game more than us."
Dallas can clinch the top spot if the Spurs lose their remaining two games and it wins its final contest. That would leave the teams tied and since the season series was tied at 2-2, the next tiebreaker for teams within the same division is divisional winning percentage, which would belong to Dallas.
The Mavs tied a franchise record with their 60th win this season. The 2002-03 squad also had 60 wins.
Kirilenko left the game at the end of the third quarter with back spasms and did not return...Dallas Marquis Daniels left the game and did not return due to sore left hamstring...Nowitzki and Utah's Kris Humphries were each hit with a technical foul less than 1 1/2 minutes remaining elapsed in the game after an altercation following a Humphries foul on Nowitzki. Utah head coach Jerry Sloan was also hit with a technical for arguing with officials during regarding the calls.
04/17 00:23:58 ET