Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Five times at home now this season, the Jazz have trailed heading into the fourth quarter — and four times they've lost.
Friday night marked the fourth instance in that regard, as the Dallas Mavericks used an 11-0 run at the start of the final period to pull away from Utah and end the Jazz's seven-game win streak.
The Mavs' 93-81 win was their eighth in a row, and left the Jazz — who've had their fair share of comeback wins this season, mostly on the road — wondering what they must do to better capitalize on that supposed EnergySolutions Arena advantage.
Dallas, which led 66-62 after three quarters, watched Jazz swingman C.J. Miles rim out a 3-pointer to open the fourth.
Before the Mavs' run was done, backup point guard Earl Watson would miss a 20-foot jumper, starting point Deron Williams would turn the ball over on a drive to the basket and miss an 18-footer, and reserve big man Francisco Elson and starting small forward Andrei Kirilenko would both commit turnovers as well.
Dallas, meanwhile, got going with a 16-foot Jason Terry jumper.
Twenty-six point game-high scorer Dirk Nowitzki followed with five straight points, first a pull-up trey and then a improbable mid-range fadeaway bank.
"I think we got a little bit lack of energy in the second half," Kirilenko said. "In the first half, we were running, we were active, we were pressing them. In the second half, it was just a different team."
When Mavs forward Shawn Marion converted Elson's turnover into a fastbreak dunk, Dallas up by 13, and guard Jose Barea followed with a layup off Terry's steal from Kirilenko.
"They made some shots," Miles said. "They got out and ran off of a couple turnovers ... and then they kind of opened it up, and it was like a snowball effect.
"We missed a couple, and couple we turned the ball over. That was the big deal."
When Jazz coach Jerry Sloan called a 20-second timeout with nine minutes and four seconds to go, the Mavs were up 77-62 — and well on their way to improving to 15-4.
"The way I saw it is we got the ball inside — and we held the ball in too long," Sloan said. "I mean, you can't hold the ball. You've got to be able to pass the ball and move around and get something going.
"But we never did seem to get anything," he added. "We looked for long, tough shots."
Only when starting center Al Jefferson finished with an alley-oop pass from Watson did the Jazz have their first points of the fourth, ending a 3:17 dry spell from the start of the quarter.
It was not nearly enough, though, for Utah to pair Friday with its lone fourth-quarter comeback at home, one that came against the Los Angeles Clippers back on Nov. 6 — and that ended only after two overtime periods.
"We just have to keep our heads up," Miles said.
"We have to continue to play with confidence," he added. "I mean, we lost the game. You're not gonna win all of them anyway, so you just have to play. ... There's nothing you can do about it now."
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