The Dallas Mavericks keep rolling toward the Western Conference playoffs.
The Mavs improved to 48-31 this season with an easy 95-83 victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Dallas is the seventh-seed in the West. It trails No. 6 Golden State by one game and leads No. 8 Phoenix by one game with a week left in the regular season. No. 9 Memphis is two games beind the Mavericks.
"It’s a win we needed," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "I didn’t like the way we started. But we regrouped. ... We had a great shooting night, which is always going to help."
The Mavs trailed in the opening minutes, 13-6. But they finished 16-for-17 from the field in the first quarter and built a 39-25 lead.
"We were in fire shooting the ball," said Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 21 points and passed Oscar Robertson for 10th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
"It’s a level of excellence that is beyond belief," Carlisle said. "... It’s one of the really unique accomplishments and he’s going to keep eating up more people [on the scoring list]. He’s got a long way to go."
Dallas won its sixth straight road game despite being outrebounded 47-36.
Utah’s Enes Kanter collected 19 rebounds, one more than the Mavericks’ starting frontcourt of Samuel Dalembert, Shawn Marion and Nowitzki.
"They are one of the one of the best, toughest and most physical rebounding teams and we survived it," Carlisle said. "So we’ll take the win and run."
Asked about the fierce battle for the playoffs, Carlisle shook his head.
"We just have to find a way to make it," he said. "That’s the way it is. ... But it’s hard work in the West. That’s the way it is this year. That’s the way it’s been many other years. If you want it easy, go somewhere else."
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