DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks turned an easy night into a difficult night Friday before they held on for a 103-93 over the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center.
The victory helped the Mavs make a clean 3-0 sweep of this homestand while improving their record to 9-4. Owners of the NBA's worst record, the Jazz dropped to 1-13 on the season.
Dallas jumped out to a 54-26 lead with 2:11 left in the first half following a pair of free throws by Monta Ellis. After that, it appeared as though the Mavs had already tuned out the Jazz and turned their attention to Saturday's game in Denver instead of focusing on finishing off Utah.
Armmed with a sense of confidence, the Jazz made a game of it by getting within 90-85 of the Mavs with 4:41 left in the game after a dunk by Derrick Favors. But the Mavs stepped on the gas again and finally put the hapless Jazz out of their misery.
Jose Calderon dropped in a three-pointer, Samuel Dalembert scored via an offensive rebound, Dirk Nowitzki converted a three-point play and followed that up with a pair of free throws and the Mavs were suddenly up 100-87 with 2:33 to go in the game.
Ellis led the Mavs with 26 points and six assists, Dalembert had 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, Nowitzki scored 18 points and grabbed six boards, DeJuan Blair collected 11 points and nine caroms, and Shawn Marion scored 10 points.
Marvin Williams led the Jazz with 19 points and Jeremy Evans scored 14.
The Mavs barely outshot the Jazz from the field -- 50.7 percent to 50 percent. Dallas also outrebounded Utah, 41-31.
The Jazz actually made 39 field goals to 38 for the Mavs. However, Utah made just 8-of-12 free throws, while the Mavs were 20-of-27 from the line.
-- Dwain Price
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