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Mavs win 4th in row, 103-81 over Jazz

DALLAS (AP) - Monta Ellis scored 22 points and the Dallas Mavericks matched a season high with their fourth consecutive victory, 103-81 over the last-place Utah Jazz on Friday night.

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All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points while playing only 26 1/2 minutes for the Mavericks, who moved a season-best nine games over. 500 at 30-21. It is only the second time they have been that far above the break-even mark since their 2010-11 NBA championship season.

Even with Utah at full strength, putting its best lineup on the floor and Marvin Williams making four 3-pointers in the game's first 6 minutes, the Jazz lost their fourth game in a row.

Jazz starting center Derrick Favors was back after missing three games with an inflamed right hip and reserve forward Jeremy Evans had missed two games with a bruised tailbone and bruised right elbow. Utah has lost all six games Favors didn't start this season.

Dallas' only other four-game winning streak this season came in November, one capped by a 103-93 home win over the Jazz. The Mavericks play their last three games before the All-Star break on the road, then host Miami on Feb. 18 before three more games away from home.

Williams finished with 21 points while matching his career high with five 3-pointers. Trey Burke had 13 points and Richard Jefferson 10.

Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert each had 12 points for the Mavs.

Utah jumped out to a 21-14 lead in the first 6 minutes on the strength of Williams' long-range shots. He already had 14 points by then.

With Nowitzki getting a breather, the Mavericks then scored 11 in a row as part of a 14-2 quarter-ending run to take the lead for good.

Ellis made it 21-all with a 20-foot jumper, and the tiebreaker came on Brandan Wright's dunk with 3 minutes left in the first quarter.

After starting the game by making eight of 10 shots with five 3s, the Jazz missed seven shots in a row during that scoreless drought of more than 4 minutes. It was also during that stretch when Williams missed his first two shots - both on the same play, when he missed a layup and the follow-up tip try.

John Lucas III made a 19-foot jumper and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to get the Jazz within 35-34 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half. They never got closer as Dallas went on a 17-3 run, including another spurt off 11 in a row during which Williams missed a slam dunk.

NOTES: The Jazz are 13-9 with the starting five of Jefferson, Williams, Favors, Gordon Hayward and rookie Burke. They are 3-24 with seven other starting combinations. ... The halftime entertainment was the Texas Southern University band, with full drum line and loud horns. ... After Ellis and Burke traded 3-pointers midway through the third quarter, Ellis then made a 22-footer and fed Shawn Marion for a dunk that made it 69-57. ... Wright had another dunk, a one-hander on an alley-oop pass from Vince Carter late in the third quarter. ... The season series will end with two games in Utah, on March 12 and April 8.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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