Dallas Mavericks' Laker runaway hits the wall in Utah
10/31/2012 11:45 PM
11/02/2012 12:25 AM
SALT LAKE CITY -- That special magic the Dallas Mavericks had during Tuesday's regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers was nowhere to be found when the Mavs needed it 24 hours later.
The Utah Jazz put on a torrid shooting clinic in the third quarter Wednesday en route to humbling the Mavs 113-94 at Energy Solutions Arena. The loss dropped the Mavs to 1-1 on the season before Saturday's home opener against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The game was tied at 74 with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter when the Jazz erupted and closed the period on a dizzying 18-2 run. That all but completely wiped out the Mavs, who could never get it back into single digits in the final period.
"They were making shots and they all stayed mentally engaged the entire game," said O.J. Mayo, who scored 12 points. "When you play a tough team like Utah you know they're not going to quit."
Mayo buried a 3-point shot with 0.6 seconds left in the second quarter, enabling the Mavs to take a 63-55 lead at the half. From there, the Jazz dominated the Mavs, outscoring them 37-13 in the third quarter when they had the Mavs back on their collective heels.
"Really it was the whole quarter -- it wasn't just the end [of the quarter]," coach Rick Carlisle said. "When you get beat by 24 in a quarter that's a convincing beating.
"We didn't match their aggression in the third, and that was the difference in the game."
The Jazz also dominated the Mavs on the boards, winning that battle by a whopping 61-40. Paul Millsap (13 points, 15 rebounds) and Al Jefferson (12 points, 14 rebounds) were the main culprits who hammered the Mavs on the backboards.
"This is probably the toughest team to deal with on the boards because they come at you with waves of energetic big men," Carlisle said. "We got off to a bad start -- Millsap had six offensive rebounds in the first five minutes and it didn't get a lot better from there."
The Mavs shot a dismal 37.6 percent from the field and turned the ball over 16 times that led to 23 points for the Jazz, who also converted 31 of 42 free throws.
"The problem was their aggression got them deep into the paint and we couldn't make the long run-outs, or they'd get too deep and they drew fouls," Carlisle said. "It was a march to the free-throw line, and their shot-making was really there in the second half.
"It turned into a lousy night for us, but they had a lot to do with it and we've got to do better."
Mo Williams (21 points) tallied eight straight points in that 18-2 Jazz run that rocked the Mavs. Marvin Williams also scored 21 points for the Jazz, while Darren Collison led Dallas with 17 points.
"It's part of this business sometimes -- teams make runs," said Brandan Wright, who had 15 points and two blocks. "We made a run at the end of the half to take an eight-point lead, and they came out and made a run on us at the beginning of the third.
"That's what happens sometimes. We just look at it and move on to Charlotte."
The Mavs are now 25-22 in regular-season games in which Dirk Nowitzki (knee) missed since he entered the NBA in 1998. To a man, the Mavs didn't use lack of energy from Tuesday's win in Los Angeles as an excuse.
"I think they were the tougher team tonight for most of the game physically and mentally," Mayo said. "When you come into Utah you understand that they're going to play hard the entire game.
"It's been like that since I've been in the league, before I got into the league, so you have to be mentally prepared."