Jazz fall to Mavs, drop below .500

Nowitzki dominant again for Dallas

Posted: Sunday, December 05, 2004

DALLAS - Despite finishing 23 points shy of his previous effort, Dirk Nowitzki still provided more than enough offense.

Nowitzki followed up his 53-point outburst with 30 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots as the Dallas Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 109-86 on Saturday night.

Two nights earlier, Nowitzki set a franchise scoring record against Houston with the most points in the NBA this season. Saturday night's 10-for-19 field goal shooting and 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line wasn't as spectacular, but the Mavericks were able to pull away with a 34-18 fourth quarter for their fourth victory in five games.

"Dirk will give us 25 to 30 points every night," Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse said. "If he doesn't have that, we think he's not doing something right."

As Nowitzki goes, so go the Mavericks, who are 8-0 this season when he scores at least 30 points.

Nowitzki has been trying to drive more instead of settling for jump shots, a strategy that is getting him to the free throw line more often.

"I've been being more aggressive..." Nowitzki said. "I have to find a way to be effective when my jumper's not going."

Jason Terry scored a season-high 19 points and added nine assists, and Stackhouse added 18 points. Josh Howard contributed 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks.

Matt Harpring's 22 points paced the Jazz, who've lost four straight and five of six and fell below .500 with an 8-9 season record. Juneau-Douglas High School graduate Carlos Boozer, who started night as Utah's top scorer (20.8 ppg), finished with only eight points and two rebounds.

The Jazz had 22 turnovers, negating their 38-for-75 field goal shooting.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was angry at his players for their unwillingness to share the ball.

"I've never seen our team play as selfishly as they did tonight," Sloan said. "It seemed like whoever got the ball was going to shoot it in a hurry before someone else got it. We had plenty of scorers out there but not enough basketballs."



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