James, Nowitzki lead Mavericks past Jazz, 113-108

Mavs vs. Jazz

Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks shoots a jumper against Derrick Favors of the Utah Jazz on March 24, 2013 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. (Copyright 2013 NBAE/Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

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by DAVID JIMENEZ

Associated Press

Posted on March 24, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 24 at 9:45 PM

DALLAS (AP) — Mike James scored a season-high 19 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 17 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the slumping Utah Jazz 113-108 Sunday night.

Vince Carter and Shawn Marion each had 15 points as the Mavericks moved within two games of the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Enes Kanter scored 17 points as the Jazz lost their ninth straight on the road, Utah's longest such skid since losing 17 in a row away from home during the 1981-82 season. The Jazz's last road win was Feb. 13 at Minnesota.

The score was tied midway through the third before the 37-year-old James keyed a 20-2 run which bridged the third and fourth quarters.

James, who scored 12 points in the third quarter, joined Dallas on a 10-day contract on Jan. 8 before signing for the rest of the season three weeks later. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle inserted James into the starting lineup in place of Darren Collison on March 6, and the Mavericks have won eight of 11 since.

Dallas had a one-point edge at halftime and the teams exchanged the lead 12 times in the third. The Mavericks started pulling away midway through the third

James hit a 3-pointer to put Dallas in front 74-69. The point guard connected on two free throws and short jumper to close the third, stretching the Mavericks' lead to 83-71.

Carter made a difficult layup and Marion hit a free throw to cap the 20-2 run which gave Dallas an 89-71 advantage with 9:55 left.

The Mavericks led 104-87 with 3:12 left before the Jazz went on a 21-7 run over the next 3 minutes. Gordon Hayward's three-point play brought Utah to 111-108 with 7.3 seconds left.

James hit 7 of 10 shots from the floor, including three 3-pointers. Collison had 13 points for the Dallas, which shot 54.3 percent from the field.

Utah's Paul Millsap had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Hayward chipped in with 13 points.

Utah has lost four in a row and 12 of 15 overall. The Jazz dropped two games behind the Lakers - and even with Dallas - for the last playoff spot in the conference.

Al Jefferson scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter to help the Jazz take a 27-24 lead.

Mo Williams hit a 3-pointer and a 20-footer to start a 9-2 run that gave Utah a 42-35 advantage, its largest of the first half.

Late in the second quarter, Dallas took its first lead since early in the first half on Nowitzki's jumper over Jefferson. Nowitzki ended the first half with a fadeaway over Paul Millsap, putting Dallas up 53-52 at halftime.

NOTES: Utah plays eight of its next 10 at home, starting Monday night against Philadelphia. . The Mavericks have won 19 of their last 22 against the Jazz in Dallas.

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