SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The Utah Jazz made three major offseason moves, with a pair of trades to acquire Mo and Marvin Williams and the acquisition of free-agent Randy Foye.
Call it money well spent.
The three combined for 55 of Utah’s points and all six of the Jazz 3-pointers in a 113-94 victory Wednesday night over the Dallas Mavericks, with the M & M duo scoring 21 points apiece.
“We’re veterans,” Mo Williams said. “We know what we bring to the table. We’re just going to try to bring what we bring, try not to be no more than we are.”
Paul Millsap added 15 rebounds and 13 points Utah. Al Jefferson also had a double-double with 14 rebounds and 12 points.
The score was tied at 70 before Mo Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers then scored on a driving layup. Marvin Williams followed with his second 3-pointer, putting Utah up 11 points with 2:57 left in the third. The Jazz led by as many as 20 after trailing 63-55 at halftime.
“I just told the guys to stay the course,” Mo Williams after the Jazz opened 1 of 7 from beyond the arc. “Pick up our intensity, pick up our defense and things will turn around. It’s a long game. I’ve seen crazier things happen. We just wanted to stay solid and not get our heads down.”
Darren Collison scored 17 points for the Mavs, who pulled off an upset win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday but couldn’t match Utah’s pace in the second half.
“When you get beat by 24 in a quarter that is a convincing beating,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of being outscored 37-13 in the third. “We just didn’t match their aggression in the third and that was the difference in the game.”
It didn’t help that Dallas continued to play without 11-time All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki and 7-0 center Chris Kaman.
The Jazz held a 44-30 advantage on points in the paint and 61-40 edge in rebounds.
Carlisle almost predicted as much, calling Utah a “wrecking crew” in the paint before the game with its four bigs.
Utah’s aggressive style helped the Jazz get to the free throw line 42 times, and unlike the Lakers, they cashed in, making 31.
“It was a march to the free-throw line, and their shot-making was really there in the second half,” Carlisle said. “It turned into a lousy night for us. They had a lot to do with it.”
Give some credit to Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, who chastised his team at halftime.
“He came in and told us what it was,” Mo Williams said. “We got to pick up our intensity, got to get aggressive, get into them. They were having their way the first half.”
Brandan Wright added 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting for the Mavs (1-1), while O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter had 12 points apiece.
The Mavs started off hot despite not arriving in Salt Lake City until about 3 a.m., hitting their first five shots in building a 15-8 lead.
Utah pulled even at 18 with 3:51 left in the quarter on Marvin Williams’ fast-break layup. He had 10 first-quarter points, including his first 3-pointer as a member of the Jazz.
The Jazz surged ahead 42-35 in the second quarter as Mo Williams settled in, hitting four shots and two free throws in a 4-minute span. But the Mavs fought back with six 3-pointers, three by Mayo, two by Jae Crowder and one by Collison that started a 24-8 run and gave Dallas a 63-55 edge at the break.
It wouldn’t be enough, against a Jazz team with depth.
The Mavs scored 31 points in the second half after scoring 63 in the first.
“I think they imposed their will,” said Collison.
The Jazz got a scare when second-year pro Enes Kanter headed to the locker room with blood covering his face after catching an elbow from Vince Carter. He emerged with three stitches in his chin, and finally got back in the game late in the third quarter, in time to provide a few key rebounds. He finished with six points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes.
“He’s a tough kid,” Marvin Williams said of Kanter, the third overall pick last year. “One thing I love about him is he plays so hard. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a couple more of those this season.”
Afterward, the flashy big man sported a black straw hat with feather, black leather jacket and blue-and-while skull-and-crossbones belt buckle.
“In the second half, we wanted the game,” Kanter said. “We went out there to fight, fight, fight.”
The bandage on his chin was evidence of that.
“It’s basketball. It doesn’t matter if I get hit, get 30 stitches,” he said. “I’m just going to go out there and lift up my teammates. That’s my job. They can hit me every game.”
Overall, it was a perfect homecoming for Mo Williams, drafted by the Jazz No. 47 overall in 2003, but allowed to leave after one year.
“It was fun,” said Mo Williams, who helped the Jazz to a 27-12 advantage on the fast-break and finished with six assists and two blocked shots.
But he admitted it was a lot different than opening night in 2003 as rookie.
“I couldn’t sleep. I was nervous,” he recalled. “It’s the complete opposite now. I feel home, feel comfortable. Everything is all good now.”
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Also Check Out: