When an out-of-timeouts Dallas team answered Jazz guard Deron Williams' game-tying 3-pointer with a game-winning trey that reigning NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki made with 0.9 seconds remaining Thursday night, the Mavericks according to Mavs head coach Avery Johnson beat Utah at its own game.
"The Jazz are the best in the business at it," Johnson said with regard to the no-delay final-seconds response.
"Historically, I don't think (Jazz) Coach (Jerry) Sloan has called many timeouts in those situations even if he had one," Johnson added. "You could see (it) last year against Seattle: Deron Williams comes up and finds (Mehmet) Okur for a 3. Year after year, they're really good in those situations."
For the Jazz, meanwhile, the loss was reminiscent of one to New York in December 2006 when Knicks guard Stephen Marbury answered a Wiliams basket with a game-winning, buzzer-beating layup in overtime.
"A little New York Knick flashback," Williams said.
HE SAID IT: Johnson, on how the Mavericks' strategy against the Jazz played out Thursday night: "We wanted to keep the ball out of Willliams' hands. He didn't do what we wanted him to do, like turn over the ball. He found guys in the right spots."
TIME CHANGE: Start time for the Jazz's regular-season finale Wednesday night at San Antonio has been changed from 6 p.m. (MDT) to 7:30 p.m. (MDT) to accommodate coverage by ESPN.
The national cable network also picked up that night's New Orleans at Dallas game, and dumped previously planned Seattle at Golden State.
Utah is 4-3 when playing on ESPN this season.
REGGIE'S PICK: Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith favor Byron Scott of New Orleans for NBA Coach of the Year honors, but TNT colleague and fellow NBA retiree Reggie Miller leans another direction.
"No one ever mentions Jerry Sloan for Coach of the Year," Miller said on the air Thursday night. "Of course Byron Scott and (Boston's) Doc Rivers have done a fantastic job, but I like Jerry Sloan."
HE SAID IT II: Mavericks center Erick Dampier, about the Jazz, to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "They're a good team. We know exactly what those guys are going to do, we know who the ball is going to run through. We know who is going to take the majority of shots. Their system, they've been doing that the last 16 to 20 years. They're a physical team. Some of their guys are a little dirty, but that's all in the game of basketball."MISC.: After playing in tonight's regular-season finale for the NBA Development League's Utah Flash, rookie Morris Almond is expected to rejoin the Jazz ... According to Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN.com, Thursday's game-winning 3-pointer marked just the fifth time that Nowitzki had made good on 24 potential game-tying or go-ahead field-goal attempts in the last five seconds of regulation or of any overtime period and just the second time on 11 trey tries ... A win tonight against Denver would give the Jazz 53 regular-season victories for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
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