Rapid Reaction: Mavs 103, Jazz 81

DALLAS – The Mavericks kept their momentum rolling Friday night with a 103-81 rout of the Utah Jazz.

How it happened: The Mavs put together another remarkably efficient offensive performance and played solid defense to overpower a Jazz team that has now lost four consecutive games.

The Mavs, who shot 46.9 percent from the floor, put the Jazz away early enough to limit Dirk Nowitzki to 26 minutes. Dallas’ lone All-Star still managed to score 20 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting and had four assists. However, Ellis limped to the locker room with assistant athletic trainer Dionne Calhoun late in the game with an unspecified injury.

Point guard Jose Calderon did a splendid job orchestrating the Dallas offense and spacing the floor. He scored 12 points — all on 3-pointers — and had seven assists with only one turnover.

A red-hot Marvin Williams allowed the Jazz to hang around for a while. He had 14 points in the first quarter, hitting his first five shots, and 21 at halftime. However, Williams was shut out in the second half, when Utah was held to 38 points.

What it means: The Mavs pulled even with the Phoenix Suns in seventh place of the Western Conference standings by matching their season-best winning streak. After four straight victories, the Mavs are 30-21, putting them only a half-game behind the sixth-place Golden State Warriors. This is only the second time since Dallas’ 2011 title run that the Mavs have been nine games above .500. The lottery-bound Jazz dropped to 16-33.

Play of the game: Brandan Wright went way, way up to catch a lob pass from Vince Carter and throw it down with one hand. After a pick-and-roll in the middle of the floor, Carter drove the lane and lofted a high one-handed pass. Wright leaped and fully extended his long left arm, catching the pass by the upper corner of the square on the backboard, a play that elicited oohs from the crowd and extended the Mavs’ lead to 10 with 2 minute, 27 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Stat of the night: The Mavs have outscored opponents by 71 points in 72 minutes with Carter on the floor this week.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4699887/rapid-reaction-mavs-103-jazz-81

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