Williams’ double-double leads Jazz over Mavs
Utah outscored Dallas 27-16 and had twice as many rebounds in the final period while pulling away for a 104-92 win Monday night, extending the Jazz’s longest winning streak of the season to six.
“We just have everybody playing at a high level right now. We have a lot of confidence and we understand what it takes to win right now,” said Deron Williams(notes), who had 18 points and 15 assists. “Hopefully we don’t get too confident and too cocky and just keep doing what we need to to win.”
The surging Jazz pulled within a half-game of the Mavericks for third place in the Western Conference standings. Utah also clinched the season series 2-1, giving it the tiebreaker over the Mavericks if it’s needed to separate the two in the playoff seedings.
“We haven’t really set a goal of trying to get in third,” Williams said. “We’re just trying to win games, keep the streak alive. We’re playing our best basketball and we want to keep doing that.
It was a big night for Williams and fellow Dallas native C.J. Miles(notes), who scored 17 for the Jazz. Paul Millsap(notes) had 25 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Andrei Kirilenko(notes) added 13 points, eight boards and four steals for Utah.
Kirilenko shadowed Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki(notes) in the fourth quarter, holding him without a field-goal attempt and limiting him to just two points after he scored 14 of his 28 points in the third.
The Mavericks have lost three straight for the first time this season.
“We’ve struggled,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’ve been in some close games. This was a close game up until the fourth.”
Utah led 77-76 entering the fourth, then blew open the game by holding Dallas scoreless for a stretch of more than three minutes and pulling down seven offensive rebounds in the period—matching the Mavericks’ rebounding total in the fourth.
“They just stepped up their pressure in the fourth. I couldn’t get any looks,” Nowitzki said. “I barely had the ball in my hands.”
Millsap replaced Boozer in the lineup and helped the Jazz dominate inside. Utah controlled the boards 43-34 and outscored the Mavs 54-32 in the paint.
“That’s what we have to be able to do to try to win some of these games. Because if you come out and only four or five guys are busting their cans, that’s not enough,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. “We need everybody and I think that showed in the game tonight.”
Miles drove for a layup to put Utah up 88-82 with about 7:30 left in the game, then Kirilenko picked off a pass from Jose Barea and drove for a layup while getting the Mavericks guard to foul him. The free throw gave Utah a 91-82 lead.
Neither team led by more than six until Brewer’s 3-pointer with 2 seconds left in the second quarter put the Jazz up 53-46 at halftime. The Jazz closed the period on a 9-2 run and Williams had a hand in every point, scoring the first two then setting up the rest with three assists.
NOTES: There were 10 lead changes and eight ties in the first half. … Dallas G Rodrique Beaubois fell hard to the floor while trying to stop a drive by Millsap with 3:12 left in the first. He was helped to the locker room and did not return because of a bruised back. … Nowitzki got hit in the face by the ball when Okur freed it from a pileup in the third quarter, but was OK.