How it happened: The Mavs built a double-digit lead during a historically hot-shooting first quarter and never let the lottery-bound Jazz make a serious run.
The Mavs led by 14 after going 16-of-17 from the floor in the first quarter, when a Monta Ellis midrange jumper was the only miss. Dallas couldn’t keep up that record-setting pace, but Utah never cut the deficit to less than nine points.
On a night when he passed Oscar Robertson to become the 10th-leading scorer in NBA history, Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting. He had 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first quarter.
Ellis, who survived a scary fall when he was fouled by Utah center Derrick Favors in the first quarter, added 16 points and five assists.
The Jazz dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle by a 47-36 margin, with backup center Enes Kanter putting up 15 points and 18 rebounds. But that wasn’t enough to keep up with a Dallas squad that shot 55.6 percent from the floor.
What it means: The Mavs’ magic number is down to two. They’ve got a two-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Memphis Grizzlies with three games remaining on the Mavs’ schedule. Dallas (48-31) is still in sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference, leading the Phoenix Suns by a game and trailing the sixth-place Golden State Warriors by a game. The Jazz fell to 24-54.
Play of the game: It was a simple, open midrange jumper, a shot Nowitzki has knocked down countless times throughout his career, but this one was historic. After getting a feed from Carter, Nowitzki swished the jumper from above the right elbow to move past the “Big O” to 10th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Stat of the night: The Mavs set a franchise record for field goal percentage in a quarter by going 16-of-17 from the floor (94.1 percent) in the first. The previous record was 90 percent (18-of-20) in the third quarter against the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 16, 1991. According to the Elias Stats Bureau, the Mavs shot the highest percentage of any team in a quarter since the Indiana Pacers were 20-of-21 (95.2 percent) in a quarter against the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 9, 2010.