SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - When Dirk Nowitzki was shipped to Dallas in a surprise trade before his rookie season, it seemed like a major gamble for a franchise that had endured a stretch of several rough seasons.
That little deal worked out in a big way for the Mavericks.
Dallas (48-31) shot 56 percent from the field and had six players score in double figures en route to recording a fifth consecutive victory. Monta Ellis scored 16 points and reserve Vince Carter added 13 for the Mavericks to help them complete the series sweep of Utah.
“It feels kind of surreal, still,” Nowitzki said. “All night, I was trying not to think about it. I was trying to concentrate on the next shot. I knew how many points I needed, but I wasn’t trying to think about it. I was just trying to think about the next shot and how I can get open.”
“He’s an original. He is a generational player,” Carlisle said. “Now most teams start a stretch four. He’s changed the game in so many ways. The kind of humility and dignity he does it with, it leaves you standing there in awe.”
The Jazz outrebounded the Mavericks 47-36. They also enjoyed a 52-34 advantage in points in the paint and a 22-7 edge in second-chance points.
Dallas overcame the disparity inside with a terrific shooting performance, including a 9-for-23 night from 3-point range.
“We got defensive stops when we needed and we executed on the offensive end,” Ellis said.
The Jazz matched the Mavericks’ scoring pace early on. Utah made six straight shots to open the first quarter. Favors had three of those baskets, helping his team to an early 13-6 lead.
The Jazz simply had no answer when the Mavericks had the ball.