Mavericks Overwhelm Jazz
The Dallas Mavericks could tell that the Utah Jazz were weary, and they took advantage.
Dirk Nowitzki’s 21 points and Adrian Griffin’s 16 sent the Mavericks to a 101-77 rout of the Jazz.
Both teams played and traveled Friday night. Utah lost at home to Sacramento in overtime, 108-105, and Dallas won at Miami, 91-89.
Saturday’s loss put the Lakers percentage points ahead of the Jazz for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
“They looked a little tired and they really didn’t look ready to play,” Nowitzki said. “They had a tough loss at home last night so they were a little flat and we jumped on them right away.”
The Mavericks won their fourth straight by responding to the second game of a back-to-back situation better than the Jazz.
“The Utah team we are accustomed to seeing didn’t make it here tonight,” said Dallas guard Steve Nash, who had 12 points, four rebounds and four assists in 16 minutes. “They are a lot better than they showed tonight.”
The Mavericks had fresher legs, racing to a 55-30 lead with 37 seconds left in the first half behind a 28-12 run capped by Nash’s three-point basket.
Portland 94, Indiana 80 -- Rasheed Wallace had 23 points and 14 rebounds at Portland, Ore., to lead the Trail Blazers over the struggling Pacers.
The Pacers have won only one of their last 10 games and have lost eight consecutive on the road -- but they’re still atop the Central Division with Detroit.
Pacer forward Ron Artest was called for a flagrant foul on Bonzi Wells early in the second quarter. If the NBA upholds the foul, Artest -- who went into the game with five flagrant foul points -- will be suspended for tonight’s game against Sacramento.
Houston 83, New Jersey 71 -- Cuttino Mobley scored 18 points, Steve Francis had 17 and the Rockets took advantage of a record-low first half by the Nets at Houston.
New Jersey scored eight points in the second quarter and 24 in the first half, both franchise lows. The Nets shot 36% from the field. Jason Kidd, the team’s leading scorer, made only three of 12 shots for six points.
Milwaukee 138, Golden State 133 -- Sam Cassell made five free throws in the last 18 seconds of overtime after Gary Payton made a three-point basket with 3.4 seconds left to force overtime at Milwaukee.
Payton scored 28 points, his most since joining Milwaukee nine games ago. Cassell finished with 28 points and 13 assists. The Bucks rallied from a 16-point deficit in the final 9:38 of regulation.
Toronto 107, Atlanta 98 -- Vince Carter scored a season-high 43 points, the 11th 40-point game of his career and his first in nearly a year, and the Raptors defeated the Hawks at Atlanta.
Carter finished 16 of 24 from the field to set a Philips Arena scoring record for an opponent.
Memphis 115, Cleveland 89 -- Pau Gasol scored 27 points, Mike Miller had 21 and the visiting Grizzlies rolled to their most lopsided victory this season. Memphis came within one point of the most lopsided win in the franchise’s eight-year history.
Denver 98, Miami 92 -- Rookie Junior Harrington scored a career-high 19 points, Nene Hilario had 16 and the Nuggets ended a 14-game losing streak. The Nuggets also ended a 16-game road losing streak dating to Jan. 3.