<
>

Nowitzki scores 34 as Mavericks beat Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points, including
12 in a decisive stretch of the fourth quarter after Utah tied the
game, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Jazz 90-87 Saturday night.

Carlos Boozer capped a 10-2 run and tied the game at 71 before
Nowitzki took control. With the Jazz trying a variety of defenses
to stop him, Nowitzki made three jump shots early in the
game-deciding 16-4 run, then drained two straight 3-pointers before
the Mavericks held on.

Nowitzki had struggled this season against the Jazz, averaging
18.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in two previous meetings. But he made
14 of 25 shots Saturday, going 4-of-6 from 3-point range, and had
nine rebounds.

Nowitzki's last 3-pointer gave the Mavericks an 87-75 advantage,
but Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur sparked a furious rally that
cut the lead to 88-84 in the final moments.

Okur scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, and Kirilenko had
19 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who were trying for their
first three-game winning streak in two months.

Jerry Stackhouse had 16 points and Jason Terry scored 14 for the
Mavericks, who have the best record in the Western Conference and
lead San Antonio by one game in the Southwest Division.

Dallas is in the midst of playing 10 of its final 13 games this
month on the road. The Mavs opened a three-game trip with a 109-92
win over Portland on Thursday.

The Mavericks never trailed and led by as many as 15 in the
first half behind the shooting of Nowitzki and Stackhouse.

Okur scored 10 points in the third quarter, including two long
3-pointers, in a 16-4 Jazz run that brought Utah within 58-56.

Nowitzki led the Mavs back in front and his jump shot over the
Jazz zone late in the third quarter put Dallas up 68-61.

Game notes
Mavericks starting guard Devin Harris aggravated his left
quadriceps injury in the first quarter after scoring four points,
then Adrian Griffin strained his right hamstring in the third
quarter and had to leave the game. Dallas forward Josh Howard sat
due to a strained left hamstring and Utah center Greg Ostertag
missed the game with a sprained left ankle. ... Dallas is 17-1 when
Nowitzki scores more than 30 points.