Associated Press
Dallas Mavericks\' Brendan Haywood (33) attempts to get past Utah Jazz\'s Al Jefferson, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS — The defending NBA champions began tonight's game without Dirk Nowitzki, and Jason Kidd left a couple of minutes into the first quarter with a calf injury.

Their absence wasn't noticeable on the American Airlines Center scoreboard.

The Jazz fought back from a double-digit lead and got within two late in the third quarter, but the star-less Mavs dominated the fourth quarter to run away with a 116-101 win.

Rodrigue Beaubois scored 22 points and killed the Jazz with his drives and outside touch (3-for-5 from 3-point land).

Jazz-killer Lamar Odom scored 18 points off the bench for Dallas, which beat Utah for the sixth time in a row.

Paul Millsap led Utah with 20 points and Al Jefferson had 19 in his return after missing Wednesday with ankle tendinitis.

Enes Kanter was a bright spot for Utah, totaling 12 points and seven rebounds.

This was the 10-7 Jazz's second loss in row. They return to Utah on Saturday for a showdown with Jimmer Fredette and the Sacramento Kings at EnergySolutions Arena.


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