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A late surge made things interesting for the Utah Jazz but could not negate a disappointing second-half swoon. The Jazz matched the Dallas Mavericks the first half but slumped in the third quarter. A valiant finish made things interesting, but Dallas held on to notch a 113-108 win.

In a game that pitted two teams trying their best to remain relevant in the Western Conference postseason circle, the Mavericks used their veteran savvy and home court advantage to edge their rivals, thus knotting the two squads’ record at 34-36. Utah won the season series 2-1, so still remains in the ninth-place slot.

Offensive outing: This game was certainly not a defensive battle as both teams had little issues putting points on the board. To put it in perspective, the Jazz shot 51 percent from the field, 41 percent from the three-point line and 81 percent from the free-throw line — all fine marks.

The Dallas Mavericks bested them in all three categories, going a very impressive 54 percent, 50 percent and 85 percent, respectively. This was especially helped during a brilliant 25-6 run that spanned the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter.

Vintage veterans: Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle has a veteran-heavy roster, one that he used to his advantage Sunday evening. And it wasn’t former MVP, All-NBA and All-Star Dirk Nowitzki that did all the damage.

Nowitzki was by no mean a slouch as he enjoyed a 17-point, six-rebound evening in just 26 minutes. It was the trio of Mike James, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter that was most instrumental in Dallas’ victory. Journeyman point guard James, who was a mid-season signing, turned back the clock in major ways. He was efficient (7 of 10 field goals) and displayed leadership and grit en route to 19 points and five assists.

Marion and Carter, also former All-Stars, each enjoyed good outings. Marion was 6 of 8 from the floor. In addition to his 15 points and six boards, he played his regular solid defense. Carter was aggressive, as evidenced by his 8-8 free-throw shooting. He made some big shots down the stretch and ended the night with 15 points of his own.

And if that wasn’t enough, Elton Brand was 5 of 5 for 10 points in 18 effective minutes.

David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also blogs for the Utah Jazz 360 website. He can be reached at mechakucha1@gmail.com or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.