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News » Jazz: Nowitzki's huge fourth quarter rallies Dallas past Utah


Jazz: Nowitzki's huge fourth quarter rallies Dallas past Utah


Jazz: Nowitzki's huge fourth quarter rallies Dallas past Utah Dallas ? If it wasn't Dirk Nowitzki behind the history-making performance, maybe the Jazz would have greeted the one-man Texas twister that hit them in the fourth quarter Tuesday night with something resembling shock and awe.

Instead, the Jazz seemed simply resigned to their fate as Nowitzki tore through American Airlines Center with a 29-point fourth-quarter spectacular, single-handedly erasing a 16-point deficit and sending the Mavericks to a 96-85 victory.

Nowitzki scored 14 consecutive points during one stretch midway through the quarter and finished with 40 for the game. He hit 7 of 8 shots from the field in the fourth, including a three-pointer, and went 14 of 14 at the foul line against the helpless Jazz .

"He's a terrific player," said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, whose team was on the wrong end last season when Nowitzki scored 39 points and hit 16 of 20 shots in a Jan. 17 victory in the same building.

"That's who he is. That's what he's been ever since he's been in the league. Obviously, he hasn't had this kind of output against us in the fourth quarter, but he's certainly capable of doing that after seeing him play for as many years as I have."

Twenty-four hours after they were humbled at home by Houston, the Jazz were left with another crushing loss. They took a 15-point lead into the fourth, having held Dallas to 52 points on 31.9 percent shooting through three quarters.

In the end, the Jazz made history, equaling their third-largest blown lead to start the fourth quarter in a loss. They were outscored 44-18 in the quarter, leaving them off to a 1-3 start for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

"It was just an unbelievable comeback," Nowitzki said. "We really couldn't get anything going for three quarters and it was just ugly. There was a lid on the basket. We missed layups, easy shots, putbacks and it was just ugly.

"Defensively, we were actually decent, but offensively, we just couldn't get going and then in the fourth quarter, we just left it all out there and see what happens and it worked out for us tonight."

Nowitzki broke Mark Aguirre's franchise record for points in a quarter (24) and came four points shy of equaling the NBA record shared by George Gervin and Carmelo Anthony. Wilt Chamberlain had a 31-point fourth quarter in his 100-point game.

"I mean, he's Dirk," Deron Williams said. "He's been clutch all his career. He's one of those players that can take over a ballgame and get hot and it's tough to stop him."

Through three quarters, the biggest question seemed whether Nowitzki's streak of 28 consecutive 20-point games would be coming to an end. He had scored just 11 points on 5-for-14 shooting, with the Jazz ending the quarter on a 9-0 run.

But Nowitzki forced his way to the foul line to start the fourth quarter and took over from there. With Carlos Boozer playing with five fouls, Sloan opted to have Mehmet Okur guard Nowitzki for most of the onslaught.

"There's always something else you can do," Williams said. "It's just tough. Booz has five fouls, Memo has a bad leg. Maybe I should have switched onto him."

Okur was playing his second game back after sitting out Friday with a mildly sprained left knee and ankle. The Jazz also opted not to double-team Nowitzki -- with Sloan fearful of leaving Jason Terry and Jason Kidd open for three-pointers.

Sloan noted afterward that Nowitzki had been forced to drive to the short side of the court exactly once in the quarter. He was asked about making a greater effort to deny Nowitzki the ball in the first place.

"You can deny him all you want, but he's still going to get the ball," Sloan said. "He's just that clever, and when he does, he'll work you and work you until he gets into a position that's what he likes and an advantage for him."

Nowitzki had one play in the fourth quarter in which Okur stood him up at the three-point arc, only to watch Nowitzki pass and cut down the lane for a give-and-go layup from Kidd that tied the score at 83-83 with 3:23 left.

As the Jazz missed jumpers and threw away passes, Nowitzki put the Mavericks in front by getting in the lane and hitting a fadeaway 9-footer. He also made the game's biggest pass, hitting Kidd for a three-pointer to make it 90-83 in the final minute.

"Our effort was so much better than what it was last night, just trying to compete," Sloan said. "I thought we competed hard. Yeah, we made some mistakes, but if you don't compete, then you don't have much of a chance to have anything good happen for you."

rsiler@sltrib.com Alt Heads:

Shellshocked in Dallas Storylines

In short ? Dirk Nowitzki scores a franchise-record 29 points in the fourth quarter to deliver the Mavericks an improbable victory.

Key moment ? Nowitzki scores 14 consecutive points midway through the quarter.

Key stat ? The Mavericks score 52 points through three quarters, followed by a 44-point fourth quarter.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 5, 2009

 

 
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