SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Carlos Boozer scored 21 points, including six of Utah's last seven, and the Jazz held off the Dallas Mavericks 99-90 on Wednesday night.
Although he was hampered by foul trouble, Boozer finished strong for the Jazz, who had been struggling in the closing moments of games in the past few weeks.
Boozer shot 8-of-13 and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Jazz to their third win in the last 12 games. Andrei Kirilenko and Deron Williams had 17 points apiece as the Jazz improved to 10-2 at home.
The Jazz led by 10 points in the fourth quarter before Devean George made back-to-back 3-pointers. The Jazz, bolstered by steals by Kirilenko and Ronnie Brewer, then held the Mavericks scoreless for almost 4 minutes.
Dallas stayed close with 3-pointers until Boozer made a mid-range jumper and a dunk that put Utah ahead 97-89 with 1:28 to play.
Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points for Dallas but made just 3-of-10 from 3-point range as the Mavericks abandoned any attempt at an inside game in the fourth quarter. Devin Harris and Josh Howard each had 17 points for the Mavericks, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.
Utah led 16-0 and the Mavericks didn't score until Brandon Bass' jumper 5:12 into the game. But Dallas whittled away at the lead and actually passed the Jazz just before the end of the first half. Kirilenko's dunk before the buzzer regained the lead for the Jazz, 47-46.
Dallas and Utah seemed to be headed in opposite directions since their last meeting on Dec. 8, when Howard and Williams reached career highs in points. Williams had 41, but Howard scored 47 points and led Dallas to a 125-117 victory. The Mavs were winning and the Jazz were since mired in their worst streak of the season.
But this game was much more physical and the Jazz had 12 steals and forced 18 turnovers. Though the Jazz are a higher-scoring team this year at nearly 105 points a game, they win when they play inspired defense. The Jazz improved to 10-0 when holding their opponents under 95 points.
Utah led 16-0 and the Mavericks didn't score until 5:12 had elapsed in the game and Brandon Bass hit a 14-foot jumper. But Dallas whittled away at the lead and actually passed the Jazz just before the end of the first half. Kirilenko's dunk before the halftime buzzer regained the lead for the Jazz, 47-46.
Williams had 12 assists and his adept passes on the pick-and-roll in key moments helped erase Utah's recent faltering finishes. The Jazz outscored the Mavericks in the paint, 44-28.
George and Jerry Stackhouse combined for 24 points but fellow reserve Jason Terry missed all 10 of his field goal attempts and the Mavs managed just 43 percent shooting.
Notes: Before this game, the Jazz endured the longest stretch between home contests (11 days). ... Utah guard Gordan Giricek was not in the arena and has not been with the team since he was sent home during an on-court argument with coach Jerry Sloan in their game at Charlotte on Dec. 19. ... Mehmet Okur returned to action after missing seven games with a strained left shoulder. ... Brewer dislocated a finger on his left hand with 3:52 left in the third quarter and went to the locker room for treatment but returned and played in the final period. ... This was the only road contest in an eight-game stretch for Dallas.