Thursday , Jan , 29 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Mavs’ streak ends in Utah

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Andrei Kirilenko scored a team-high 23
points and pulled down 10 rebounds, as the Utah Jazz beat Dallas 91-88 to snap
the Mavericks’ nine game-winning streak.

Raja Bell had a huge night off the bench with 18 points for the Jazz, who have
won two in a row on the heels of a five-game slide. Carlos Arroyo and Greg
Ostertag each netted 12 points for the victors. Ostertag also hauled down 11
rebounds.

Michael Finley poured in 29 points to pace the Mavericks, who suffered their
first setback since January 11 in Detroit. Dirk Nowitzki added 17 points on
just 6-of-14 shooting, coming off a career-best 43 points on Tuesday in
Seattle.

Antoine Walker, who was the hero the previous night with the game-winning shot
against the Sonics, had a chance to tie Wednesday’s game with a three-pointer,
but it fell short. Walker struggled on the night, scoring just six points on
3-of-10 shooting.

Late in the contest, Kirilenko’s baby hook was followed by Arroyo’s coast-to-
coast layup that gave Utah an 87-84 edge with 1:07 left in the contest.

Bell was called for blocking Nowitzki on Dallas’ next possession, and Nowitzki
hit both free throws to make it 87-86. Stevenson would answer for Utah with a
jumper to give the Jazz an 89-86 edge.

A Shawn Bradley dunk off a Steve Nash feed cut the score to 89-88, but Dallas
was forced to foul and Bell hit two crucial free throws for a 91-88 lead with
exactly 12.3 seconds left.

Finley attempted a three-pointer that fell short, but the rebound was tipped
back to Walker, who had a clean look at the basket. The shot fell off the
front of the rim as time expired.

“It is really like double slow motion,” Bell said. “The ball’s up, it bounces
once, it bounces twice, gets kicked out and you’re kind of holding your
breath.”

The difference in the contest was on the boards, as Utah outrebounded Dallas
45-24. The Jazz had 17 on the offensive glass, leading to 15 second-chance
points.

“Basically when you get outrebounded as bad as we did tonight, it’s awful hard
to win,” Mavericks coach Don Nelson said.

Utah took a 24-18 lead on a long three-pointer by Aleksandar Pavlovic with
under two minutes left in the opening quarter. However, the Mavericks would
finish the stanza by scoring six straight points to tie the contest. Bradley’s
layup as time expired made it 24-24 after one.

The second quarter was tightly played as Utah held a 36-32 lead with under
four minutes left before halftime. Nash’s runner in the lane moments later
pulled Dallas within 42-38 late in the quarter.

Utah would close out the half strong, going on a 7-0 spurt to build an 11-
point cushion at intermission. A Kirilenko tip-in with 0.9 left gave the pesky
Jazz a 49-38 cushion.

Bell led the Jazz with 12 first-half points, while Finley scored nine for
Dallas.

Utah maintained an 11-point margin after Michael Ruffin connected on a
baseline jumper, making it 56-45 with under nine minutes left in the third.

However, Dallas would rip off seven consecutive points in just over a minute
to pull within 56-52. Nowitzki started the burst by hitting two free throws
and Nash added a three-pointer around the seven-minute mark. A jumper by
Antawn Jamison accounted for the final points of the run.

After 36 minutes of play the Jazz held a 62-60 advantage.

The opening moments of the fourth quarter saw both teams match each other
basket for basket. Finley sparked the Mavericks, draining consecutive three-
pointers to give Dallas the lead at 70-68. After a stop by the Dallas defense,
Jamison pulled up and knocked down a three-pointer to push the lead to 73-68
with under nine minutes to play. Kirilenko’s tip-in shot stopped the Dallas
onslaught.

The lead would increase to 76-70, but the Dallas defense couldn’t hold down
the Jazz down the stretch.

Utah made one last push. Bell scored on a running layup in the lane and
Kirilenko drained an uncontested three-pointer on the ensuing possession to
make the score 80-78 with under five left.

DeShawn Stevenson’s two free throws moments later completed the comeback and
tied the game at 80-80.

DAL UTA