SALT LAKE CITY — They were unacceptable.
The Jazz allowed a whopping 63 points in the first half of Wednesday’s season opener against the Dallas Mavericks and Utah newcomer Marvin Williams wasn’t pleased. Sufficiently perturbed, Williams and his teammates bounded out for the second half, held the Mavericks to just 22.7 percent shooting in the third quarter and rolled to a 113-94 victory at EnergySolutions Arena.
They treated the Halloween Night crowd to quite a show, putting all five starters plus reserve Randy Foye in double figures.
“That’s a ton of points, 63,” Williams said. “That’s a lot of points when you’re trying to win a basketball game.”
Williams and fellow newcomer Mo Williams scored 21 points apiece and Paul Millsap added 13 points and 15 rebounds to pace the Jazz (1-0), who improved to 23-16 all-time in home openers.
Center Al Jefferson added 12 points and 14 boards.
“I feel like everybody felt like that was a lot of points (to allow in the first half),” Marvin Williams said. “Taking nothing away from Dallas (but) we felt we could have done a better job in the first half and we went out there and showed it in the second half.”
Dallas (1-1) got 17 points from point guard Darren Collison and 15 from center Brendan Wright one night after beating the L.A. Lakers in their season opening game.
Guard O.J. Mayo added 12 points, as did reserve Vince Carter.
The Mavericks outscored the Jazz 26-25 after the first quarter and 37-30 in the second. In scoring those 63 first-half points, they shot better than 54 percent from the field and 62 percent from behind the 3-point line.
The Jazz played well in stretches during the first half but they never did seem to get in sync on the defensive end.
At halftime, Corbin told his guys to pick up their intensity and get more physical.
They listened and obeyed.
“We really were disappointed in the way we finished (the first half),” Corbin said. “They got a fun and made shots on us. I thought in the third quarter our defense picked up and, one through five, everybody out on the floor understood at halftime we were better than we demonstrated in that second quarter.”
Believing they had a good core group of players but in need of veteran leadership and know-how, the Jazz acquired Foye and the two Williamses over the summer.
Their impact could be seen throughout training camp and the preseason but they appeared to raise the stakes even more Wednesday night.
The three of them combined for 55 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
Marvin Williams wasn’t at all pleased about Dallas’ 63 first-half points, but Mo Williams took a more practical, almost conciliatory, approach.
At halftime he advised his teammates to stay calm and refocus.
“I just told the guys: ‘Stay the course. Guys, trust me, they’re making shots. If we pick up our intensity, pick up our defense, things will turn around,’ ” he said. “It’s a long game. I’ve seen crazier things happen. We wanted to stay solid, not get our heads down. That’s one thing we have to continue to do. Teams are going to run, don’t sweat it. Just stayed the course.”
Mo Williams scored 11 of his 21 points after halftime and Foye added 12 for the Jazz, who outscored their opponents 58-31 in the second half.
For Utah, the key stretch was the third quarter. Holding the Mavs to just 5-for-22 shooting, the Jazz also responded on the offensive end, where Mo Williams hit a pair of 3-pointers and Marvin Williams added seven points.