Deron Williams has been shuffled away from the crumbling empire that was the Utah Jazz, but, unsurprisingly, that hasn't made the team any more competitive. The Jazz were blown out by the Dallas Mavericks 118-99 on Wednesday night as Utah played a bit shorthanded. (Unfortunately, given the trade reality, it'll look like they're playing shorthanded the rest of the season.)
Peja Stojakovic earned his keep with 18 points on 7-9 (4-5 threes) shooting. Al Jefferson had 30 for Utah, but the Jazz allowed the strong-willed Mavericks to get their shots all night, and Dallas turned that into 58 percent shooting, including 10 of 20 from behind the arc.
In other action:
Spurs 109, Thunder 105: San Antonio edged the Thunder in an entertaining effort on national TV. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook led the Thunder, but couldn't overcome efforts by Tony Parker and Gary Neal. Quote time!, from Parker in NBA.com's recap:
"Nobody told me it was playoff time. It was super physical," said Parker, who finished with 20 points.
I like to imagine Parker wore a facade of disbelief when he said that. "Nobody told me it was playoff time," Parker scoffed. "It was super physical!" Parker's talking about Nick Collison's flagrant foul, which led to technical fouls for Durant and that bastion of brooding hatred, Tim Duncan.
Rockets 124, Cavaliers 119: Cleveland almost pulled out a win here, but the Cavs gave up 22 (!) offensive rebounds. Cleveland had just seven of their own, and five of those were by reserve guard Manny Harris.
Kings 111, Magic 105: Without Tyreke Evans, the Kings fought through a great 31-17 performance from Dwight Howard to earn the road win. Samuel Dalembert and Jason Thompson, each of whom could be traded by the deadline, had 17 points apiece.