mike james

Mike James didn’t play like a 37-year-old on his last legs in the NBA on Sunday night.

James scored a season-high 19 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 17 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the slumping Utah Jazz 113-108.

The journeyman point guard scored 12 points in the third quarter, including seven in a 20-2 run which bridged the third and fourth quarters.

”I’m like a little kid in the candy store,” James said. ”People don’t understand how much fun I’m having out there.”

The 11th-year point guard is probably enjoying himself more now considering he didn’t even have an NBA job three months ago. James joined Dallas on a 10-day contract on Jan. 8, and the Mavericks signed him for the rest of season three weeks later.

Rick Carlisle inserted James into the starting lineup on March 6, and the Mavericks have gone 8-3 since then to get within two games of the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference…

Vince Carter and Shawn Marion each had 15 as the Mavericks improved to 2-1 on a season-long six-game homestand. Dallas has gone 21-13 since dropping 10 games under .500 on Jan. 9…

Enes Kanter scored 17 points as the Jazz lost their ninth straight on the road, Utah’s longest such skid since losing 17 in a row away from home during the 1981-82 season. The Jazz’s last road win was Feb. 13 at Minnesota.

– Reported by David Jimenez of the Associated Press