To kick-start their run, the Jazz became more aggressive on defense. Of Dallas' 16 turnovers, 10 were on Jazz steals.
"Coach [Tyrone Corbin] really came in at halftime and he really emphasized our effort on the defensive end," Marvin Williams said. "I think the starters came out and tried to set the tone defensively in the second half, and it really worked out for us."
Mo Williams' first 3 broke a 74-74 tie, sending the Jazz to their first win of a very new year and the Mavs, who played without Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman, to a 1-1 start.
For one night, or at least one half of that night, the Jazz made good on a whole lot of offseason promises.
Marvin Williams and Mo Williams, both acquired in summer trades, led six Jazz players in double figures with 21 points apiece. Randy Foye, the well-traveled combo guard who signed a one-year contract with the Jazz, was effective in 23 minutes, scoring 13 points and making a pair of 3-pointers.
As for the guys Jazz fans already knew? Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap recorded double-doubles and those two, along with Derrick Favors, combined for 39 rebounds one fewer than all 13 Mavericks players combined.
"I just think that's going to be one of the good things about this team," Jefferson said. "Not just the bigs. We've got a great rebounding team."
The Mavs were coming off a 99-91 win against the Lakers in Los Angeles on Tuesday, but they certainly didn't look like they were playing the second of a back-to-back in the first half against the Jazz.
Dallas closed the first half with a flurry, including a 12-3 run to erase an eight-point Jazz lead and take a 63-55 halftime lead. In the first half, the Mavericks who, again, were playing their second game in two nights made 54.8 percent of their field-goal attempts and were 10 of 16 from 3-point range.
The Jazz, meanwhile, were merely a team that had talked about being better on defense in the offseason.
Finally, in the second half, they showed it.
"I thought our aggressiveness picked up right from the beginning of the half," Corbin said. "We got hands on a lot of balls, the pick-and-roll defense was better, we were pressuring the guy with the ball."
And while this is a seasonlong exam, not a pop quiz, the Jazz provided a peek at some of the answers to longtime questions. Enes Kanter continued his development, finishing with six points and six rebounds.
The Jazz entered the game facing major questions about Corbin's rotation. In the first of 82 games, second-year guard Alec Burks was the odd man out, playing only the last 2:16 of the game. Gordon Hayward, who finished with 11 points, did not play in the fourth quarter, which Corbin attributed to "just the way the game flowed."
Storylines Slow start, but a fast finish
R The Jazz win their season opener behind 21 points apiece from Marvin Williams and Mo Williams.
• Six Jazz players score in double figures, including 13 off the bench from Randy Foye.
• Dallas plays without Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman, two injured starters.