Nowitzki ejected as Mavs lose to Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY —Rookie Kosta Koufos scored a career-high 18 points and Deron Williams added 17 points and 13 assists as the short-handed Utah Jazz beat the Dallas Mavericks 97-88 on Friday night.

The Jazz were without Carlos Boozer, Paul Millsap and Mehmet Okur—their top three scorers and rebounders—but outran the weary Mavericks all game and ended Dallas’ three-game winning streak.

The Mavericks, who didn’t arrive in Utah until early Friday after playing in Portland the night before, also lost Dirk Nowitzki early in the fourth quarter when the former MVP was called for a flagrant foul under the basket.

Andrei Kirilenko pulled down 14 rebounds and Ronnie Brewer scored 21 for the Jazz.

Reserve Jason Terry led Dallas with 26 points. Nowitzki had 17 points and eight rebounds before he was tossed for backhanding Matt Harpring with 9:48 left in the game after Utah’s Kyrylo Fesenko scored on an offensive rebound.

Harpring and Nowitzki were tangled under the basket and as they were breaking apart, Nowitzki flailed his right arm and caught Harpring squarely on the mouth and referee Jason Phillips immediately signaled for the ejection.

Nowitzki argued the call and had a few words with Harpring before the two were separated, then went to the locker room after the officials watched a replay and the call stood.

That actually seemed to wake up the Mavericks, who had fallen behind 83-68 when Harpring made the free throw for the flagrant foul. The Mavericks rallied with a 12-2 run shortly after Nowitzki was tossed, getting within 85-80 when James Singleton made a layup midway through the fourth, but that was as close as the Jazz let it get.

Williams drove for back-to-back layups, then fed Koufos just outside the lane and he banked it in while getting fouled to put Utah up 94-84.

Koufos was making his sixth career start, filling in for Okur (back spasms) at center. He was 8-for-11 and also had eight rebounds and Fesenko also had a career-high with eight points as the Jazz pieced together a lineup without most of their regular frontcourt and outscored the Mavericks 52-34 in the paint.