Utah Jazz, Jeremy Evans can’t stop Dirk Nowitzki on milestone night
Backup Jazz forward steps in against Mavericks star who moves into 10th on NBA’s scoring list.
Published: April 8, 2014 11:50PM
Updated: April 8, 2014 11:12PM
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Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) gets past Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans (40) during first half action in the Jazz versus Mavericks NBA basketball game at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah Wednesday, April 9, 2014.

Former slam-dunk championship Jeremy Evans became part of more NBA history Tuesday night.

Not that he knew it.

Evans, pressed into 32 minutes of action because of injuries, matched up with Dallas All-Star Dirk Nowitzki throughout the Mavericks’ 95-83 victory over the Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena.

On the first possession of the fourth quarter, Nowitzki raised over Evans and knocked down a 19-foot jump shot.

The two points moved Nowitzki past Oscar Robertson and into 10th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 26,711 points.

Asked about the historic shot, Evans said, “I did not know that. ... I really don’t remember it.”

Nowitzki ended up with 21 points in the game and 26,714 points in his career as the Mavericks cruised past Utah, which has lost 18 of its last 21 games.

Evans?

He saw extended duty because Marvin Williams started but could not continue because of a bruised left knee. He hasn’t played as much since getting a career-high 39 minutes on Dec. 9 at Portland.

With Williams sidelined, Evans became the Jazz’s best option against the inside-outside game of Nowitzki.

Asked what he told Evans to do defensively against the future Hall of Famer, Jazz coach Tryone Corbin said, “Stay home. Stay close to him. Pressure. Make him work for everything he got. Stay on his body. And I thought, for the most part, he did a pretty good job.”

Nowitzki scored 13 points in the first quarter, when he made five straight shots, including a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left that gave Dallas a 39-25 lead.

“[Evans] made a couple of mistakes when he got stretched out,” Corbin said. “But you know what? Dirk’s a great player and he’s going to make shots. All year you ask your big guys to help in the paint. Instinctively, he made [some] mistakes ... and Dirk made us pay.”

Evans had played only 77 minutes in the Jazz’s previous eight minutes.

“Defensively I was OK,” he said. “But offensively, I could have had the worst game of my career.”

Evans finished with six points on 3-for-9 shooting. He grabbed 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.

With 5:28 remaining in the game, Evans had a chance to help the Jazz narrow an 85-74 deficit to only nine points.

But Dallas point guard Jose Calderon blocked his open-looking dunk attempt from behind.

“I just feel like I let everybody down,” Evans said. “I feel like that play right there is huge and I didn’t jump as hard as I could have. If I do, it’s a whole different game.”

A closer look

• Jeremy Evans plays 32 minutes during Dallas’ 95-83 victory over the Jazz.

• Evans finishes with six points on 3-for-9 shooting. He also grabs 11 boards.