NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 3rd (All times eastern)
Utah Jazz (17-18) at Dallas Mavericks (21-16), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Utah Jazz gave themselves a boost of energy much like a Vitamin B12 shot with last night's win over the Miami Heat. Now they have to solve their issues on the road, as the Jazz begin a five-game trek Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks in Big D.
Utah has dropped five in a row away from Salt Lake City and is only 3-12 as the visitor this season. The team improved to 14-6 at home with a 99-98 triumph over the Heat thanks to Devin Harris' three-point play with 4.5 seconds remaining in the game. A subject of criticism for most of the season, Harris drove the lane and buried a floater before drawing a foul on Dwyane Wade for the decisive three-point play.
Harris ended with 13 points for the Jazz, who were led by Al Jefferson's 20 points and are still last in the Northwest Division. C.J. Miles netted 14 points, while Gordon Hayward and Josh Howard netted 12 and 10, respectively.
"They made runs at us, they made big shots, but our guys," remarked Utah head coach Tyrone Corbin, "I can't say how proud I am of these guys of just staying in there and not getting their heads down and continuing to fight and fight."
Utah forward Paul Millsap returned after missing the previous game with a bruised left heel, ending with eight points and eight rebounds. The Jazz have won two in a row since a four-game slide and will also visit the Cavs, Bobcats, 76ers and Bulls on the road swing.
Jazz guard Raja Bell (strained adductor) is still sidelined.
Dallas hasn't been playing its best basketball lately and the defending champions are mired in a season-high four-game losing streak after last night's 97-92 loss to the lowly New Orleans Hornets in the Big Easy.
Dirk Nowitzki shook off some back tightness to score 19 points, but the Mavs were led by Rodrigue Beaubois' 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting. Vince Carter scored 14 points for Dallas, which previously lost four in a row from March 31-April 6 last season. Dallas hasn't suffered five straight defeats since a six-game slide from Jan. 6-Jan. 17, 2011.
"We have to fight our way of this," said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. "The margins for error are very slim."
Earlier Friday, the Mavericks assigned forward Lamar Odom to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, mainly for conditioning purposes. He has not appeared in a game since February 20 due to a family matter. But then on Saturday, the team recalled the former Rhode Island star. The 12-year-pro is scheduled to be in uniform tonight. In 32 games, including four starts, this season, Odom has averaged 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists.
The Mavs are back at home where they have dropped two in a row and own a 13-7 record.
Dallas has the upper hand in this series with the Jazz and is already 2-0 against them in 2011-12. The Mavs have won six straight against Utah, which has dropped three straight and 17 of 20 contests in Big D.
03/03 13:21:36 ET