DALLAS (AP) - Fears that the Dallas Mavericks would a suffer hangover against the Utah Jazz following an emotional victory seemed improbable - until the closing minutes.
The Mavericks cruised to a 28-point lead in the second quarter but had to fend off the determined Jazz, who pulled within five in the final minutes before falling 103-93 Friday night.
The Mavericks were coming off a 123-120 win Wednesday over the Rockets in which they rallied from an 18-point deficit in the third quarter.
Dallas (9-4) has opened its home schedule 7-0 for the first time since 2003-04, when it won its first 10 home games of the season. Utah (1-13) is winless in its first eight road games. The Jazz have lost five straight since notching their only victory of the season on Nov. 13 at home against New Orleans.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points to pace five Mavericks in double figures. Ellis added six assists, and Dirk Nowitzki and Samuel Dalembert scored 18 apiece, a season high for Dalembert, who also grabbed 12 rebounds.
Reserve forward Marvin Williams scored 19 points, 16 in the second half, to lead the Jazz. Williams returned to the lineup wearing a protective mask after missing one game for surgery on a broken nose, arriving in Dallas about four hours before tipoff.
'It was a long day,' Williams said. 'I got up in time this morning and then got here at 3 p.m. on the bus. That's part of being a professional.'
The Jazz got 14 points reserve Jeremy Evans, his season high. Gordon Hayward, Utah's leading scorer this season averaging 18.2 points, scored 13 points after his 1-for-17 shooting night in New Orleans on Wednesday.
'It was disappointing, but wins are hard to get so it's a good win from that perspective,' Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Utah's furious finish. 'Our execution was poor in the second half on both ends; it was pretty obvious.'
After Utah's Derrick Favors opened the game's scoring with a finger roll, Dallas ran off the next nine points to take control. The outcome appeared secure when the Mavericks led 54-26 with 2:11 to play in the half.
But Utah followed a 38.9 percent effort in the first half by shooting 59.5 percent after intermission. A dunk by Favors with 4:42 remaining in the fourth quarter shaved Dallas' lead to 90-85. But the Mavericks' starters responded with a 3-pointer by Jose Calderon and a putback by Dalembert to stave off Utah's rally.
'They came back in the third quarter when we were kind of slacking a bit,' Dalembert said.
Utah coach Tyrone Corbin was pleased with his bench's production, particularly Williams' given the circumstances.
'I can't say enough about how much we appreciate him,' Corbin said. 'Actually playing a few games before having (his nose) reset (after) he broke it.'
'It was a long day. I got up in time this morning and then got here at 3 p.m. on the bus. That's part of being a professional.'
In addition to Dalembert's rebounding, backup center DeJuan Blair grabbed nine rebounds. The two combined for 10 offensive rebounds on a team that is waiting for No. 1 center Brandan Wright to recover from a shoulder injury that he suffered before the season.
'Those guys have been doing good things all year,' Carlisle said of his post duo. 'I am not shocked by it.'
NOTES: When Ellis scored 37 points and Nowitzki 35 on Wednesday, it marked the first time since April 1995 that two Mavericks topped 35 points in a game. . With the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy commemorated in Dallas on Friday, Jazz players toured the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza on Thursday.
The Associated Press News Service
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