After a slow start to the first half of their road game against the Utah Jazz, the front-court duo of Dirk Nowitzki and Brandan Wright energized the Mavericks in the second quarter, keeping Dallas in the game at 43-42.
Dirk was getting his shot at will, drawing 8 foul shots while repeatedly attacking the rim. He has already scored 20 points on 6-9 shooting.
Wright, meanwhile, had two rejections way above the rim, providing Dallas with a defensive presence in the lane.
Outside of Dirk, the Mavericks starters were extremely stagnant offensively. Vince Carter and Jason Terry provided a spark off the bench, with Carter continuing to excel now that he's been given more of a role as a shot-creator on the second unit. In one memorably sequence, Carter soared between two Utah defenders for a monstrous dunk off a set play.
The Jazz got a strong effort from former Dallas PG Devin Harris, who knocked down 3 three-pointers on his way to an 11 point half.
The game is crucial for both teams, as Dallas is 2.5 games ahead of Utah with only two weeks left to go in the regular season.
For more coverage of the game, stay tuned to SB Nation Dallas' exclusive storystream and head over to Mavs Moneyball.