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Mavs vow to take Jazz leftovers seriously

DALLAS – It doesn’t matter to the Mavericks that Deron Williams won’t suit up for the Utah Jazz at the American Airlines Center tonight.

“You can’t overlook them,” Jason Kidd said. “We’re all professionals and those guys over there are going to be prepared to play. They’ve always played hard, no matter who’s playing. We played them up in Utah a year ago or two years ago and they didn’t have any of their starters play and we still lost. We’ve got to come out and take care of business.”

Coach Rick Carlisle pointed out that the Denver Nuggets “kicked the [beep] out of Memphis” in their first game after shipping Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and spare parts to New York. Big man Tyson Chandler also mentioned the Nuggets’ 120-107 win over the Grizzlies, minus the colorful language.

The Mavs assume that the Jazz leftovers will put up a good fight. They’re more concerned with setting a tone for finishing the season strong and continuing the momentum from winning 13 of their last 14 gams.

“We have to make sure we don’t have a letdown from what we’re focusing on,” Chandler said. “It’s not the Utah Jazz. It’s about the Dallas Mavericks.”

Added Jason Terry: “I don’t care if John Stockton and Karl Malone come out here tonight. We’re hungry. We’ve been off six days. We want to play somebody. We’re just excited for the challenge.”