DALLAS (AP) – The Utah Jazz were already reeling from the news that leading scorer Deron Williams had been traded. Then they ran into the Dallas Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points to lead seven double-figure scorers, and the Mavericks cruised to a 118-99 victory Wednesday night.
Peja Stojakovic hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 points, and Shawn Marion contributed 16 points for the Mavericks, who stretched their winning streak to four games. Dallas has won 14 of its last 15 overall and eight straight at home.
“It’s a good team even without Deron Williams,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “They had only one point guard so they had some makeshift lineups, but they can play. It was a win we needed to get.”
Al Jefferson scored 30 points, Paul Millsap had 18 and Andrei Kirilenko 17 for the Jazz, who will have to snap a five-game losing streak as they revamp their lineup.
“Nobody else is going to feel sorry for us,” Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. “These guys, and most teams in the league, if you show them any weakness, they’ll bury you. We don’t want to be embarrassed.”
The Mavs got off to a sloppy start with eight first-quarter turnovers as the Jazz carried a 26-23 lead into the second. Dallas had gone five days without a game, and the rust was evident.
The Jazz might not have seemed like the trade was affecting them early on, but the Mavericks clamped down on defense and closed the second quarter with an 11-4 spurt over the final 3:12 for a 59-55 halftime advantage behind Nowitzki’s 14 points.
Jefferson’s 19 first-half points kept the Jazz close before the Mavericks turned up the heat in the third quarter, breaking the game open with a 16-5 surge that included consecutive 3-pointers by Rodrigue Beaubois and Stojakovic for a 79-68 advantage. The Mavs were ahead after three quarters, 88-77, and went on to lead by as many as 21 in the final quarter.
Dallas shot 58 percent from the floor and had 30 assists, 12 from Jason Kidd.
“We were really making shots and sharing the ball,” Nowitzki said. “We had (seven) guys in double figures again, and that’s how we’ve been winning lately…sharing the ball, passing the ball, making shots.”
Stojakovic continues to round into form in his seventh game since he signed a free agent contract with Dallas on Jan. 24.
“Peja’s one of the top five or six shooters all-time,” Carlisle said. “If we can get him looks, there’s going to be a great chance he’ll knock them down.”
Williams bid farewell to teammates and coaches before flying back to Salt Lake City on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after the team traded him to the New Jersey Nets. The Jazz got Devin Harris and Derrick Favors in the three-team deal, along with the Nets’ first-round draft pick, cash and the Golden State Warriors’ first-round draft pick in 2012.
Earl Watson started at Williams’ point guard spot, but it still was a jolt for a team that has been struggling ever since the resignation of longtime ocach Jerry Sloan earlier this month.
“I haven’t gotten over Coach Sloan,” Jefferson said. “So when they hit me with (the trade of Williams), it was like, wow, I was surprised. But it’s a business.”
Millsaps said he was “shocked” to learn of the deal.
“You never thought something like that would happen,” he said.
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