Image Credit: @mavspr Twitter
On Friday, the Mavericks continue their “encore” with the Utah Jazz as they finish out their two game series with the Jazz. The Mavericks are hoping to end their stressful three game losing streak while also ending the Jazz winning streak. The Mavericks have fallen into the bottom half of the western conference as they are in search of a desperate win.
On Wednesday, the Mavericks played the Utah Jazz in the first of a two game series as they hope to fix their struggles that resulted in a losing streak at a costly time in the season. The Jazz were playing this game without their leading scorer Donovan Mitchell as he missed this game with a concussion. That wouldn’t be a problem for them as they never trailed in the game from start to finish. Rudy Gobert led the way with his best performance of the season as he put up 29 points and 20 rebounds against the Mavericks. The Jazz also got tremendous help from the bench as Jordan Clarkson added a season-high 31 points off the bench while he filled in for Donovan Mitchell. Luka Doncic did everything he could to try to get the Mavericks a victory as he posted 30 points but that wasn’t enough as the Mavericks would lose 116-104 to see their losing streak extend to three games.
The Utah Jazz are coming into this game with an NBA-best 10 game winning streak which includes the win over the Mavericks on Wednesday. The Jazz have now put themselves in prime position to land a top spot in a tough western conference in hopes of making a playoff run later this season. The Jazz hope this winning streak will do themselves a favor as they want to ride this momentum as much as they can and see where it takes them. The Jazz caught everyone by surprise as they now have overtaken the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the western conference at the right time. Of course, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish and the Jazz hope to find themselves as a threat to the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers. The Jazz better be careful as they don’t want to let the long winning distract them as teams in the past have let it get to them and ultimately fall apart later in the season.
Entering this game, the Mavericks lost the regular season series last season 1-2 and hope to even the series 1-1 this season with a win in this matchup. The Jazz have won 14 of the last 19 matchups which resulted winning their 101st victory against the Mavericks all-time as they lead the all-time series with a record of 103-74 against the Mavericks.
This game would start just like the last matchup with Donovan Mitchell and Derrick Favors out for the Jazz while Maxi Kleber remains out for the Mavericks. The first couple of points in the game would belong to Rudy Gobert as he was able to give the Jazz three points while the Mavericks struggled by missing their first four shots of the game. Luka Doncic would give the Mavericks their first point of the game with 9:40 left in the first quarter as he went one of two from the free-throw line. The Mavericks finally had their first lead in this two game series as Luka Doncic made a 26-foot step back jump shot to give them a 4-3 lead but the Jazz took it right back as Joe Ingles made a 8-foot shot to leap out in front. A 9-3 run by the Jazz in the early stages of the quarter forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with the Mavericks trailing 12-6 as shots couldn’t find their way in the hoop. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks couldn’t convert on offense which resulted in points for the Jazz on the following possession. The struggles continued for the Mavericks as they shot two of 10 from the field and anyone would tell you thats not good enough to win a basketball game. The three ball would sink in like music to your ears for the Jazz as they made four of eight from behind the arc as they were able to create open space. The Mavericks were only hurting themselves as they couldn’t get their offense going which the Jazz would take advantage of the miscues for points. This game might as well be over in the first quarter as the Mavericks have made zero adjustments from last game as everything was falling apart. I hope you guys love to watch a Jazz concert because that’s all the Mavericks were forced to watch in this game. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Jazz went on a 13-1 run to lead the Mavericks 37-12 at the end of the quarter. The Mavericks were so bad that they only made three baskets in the ENTIRE quarter while the Jazz made 14 baskets. The rebounding was again a problem for the Mavericks as they were out rebounded 19-8. The Jazz were getting close to breaking 40 points while the Mavericks struggled to break 10 points as that’s how bad the Mavericks were performing. This was a pathetic performance all around by the Mavericks.
The Mavericks, fortunately, have played just a little bit better in the second quarter as they were able to hit their first two shots to begin the quarter. That would be nowhere near close to making this a game as the Jazz continue to get second chance points on offense as the Mavericks somehow forgot how to rebound in this game. A 5-0 run by the Jazz that came from second chance points would force Rick Carlisle to call a timeout that saw the score 42-16 in favor of the Jazz with 9:57 left in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, Kristaps Porzingis would hit a three pointer which was the third one made in this game for the Mavericks. The effort for the Mavericks was nowhere near to be found as they were just going through the motions just like practice as someone forgot to tell them that this was a game. The Jazz decided to let the Mavericks make some shots to make them feel better as a 5-2 run would happen which the Jazz used a timeout with 8:01 left in the quarter. The Jazz would find themselves leading the Mavericks 44-21 as they remain in control of this game. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks found more problems than solutions as they put the Jazz in the bonus for the reminder 7:00 of the quarter. Fortunately, the Jazz didn’t want to take advantage of going to the free-throw line as they were busy with trying not to turn the ball over in which the Mavericks decided to capitalize on the opportunity by hitting some shots. The only positive that would come out of this quarter would be if the Mavericks were able to cut the Jazz lead to within 10 points and even then that’s asking a lot for the Mavericks. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks tried their best to get within 10 points by playing with much better effort and energy than the first quarter. Unfortunately the Jazz were able to hold onto their lead to end the quarter leading 61-45 over the Mavericks. The improvements were there for the Mavericks but it came late in the quarter as the Jazz were bailed out by the clock. The shooting was much better for the Mavericks as they made 14 more shots in the second quarter than the first quarter but the Jazz were able to survive the threat. The leading scorer in this game would belong to Luka Doncic, as he put up 17 points through two quarters of play. The Jazz didn’t rely on one player as they had three players in double figures while the Mavericks had one (Luka Doncic). In order to make it a game, the Mavericks would have to improve on rebounding the ball and find good opportunities on offense instead of just forcing it.
Coming out of the half, Kristaps Porzingis would pick up his fifth personal foul of the game as the Mavericks found themselves limited in production with their co-star in foul trouble. The Jazz took advantage of the opportunity that resulted in them going on a 8-0 run to begin the third quarter as the lead only continued to go up. The Jazz were trying to break 80 points with 8:27 left in the quarter while the Mavericks were trying to break 50 points to give you a perspective of how this game was going. The Mavericks were finally able to break 50 points as a result of Luka Doncic driving for a layup with 7:53 left in the quarter to give the Mavericks 51 points in the game. The Jazz still remain out in front as they saw their lead increase to 25 points as a result of Bojan Bogdanovic making a 26-foot three pointer. The Mavericks finally had their second player reach double figures as it took three quarters for it to happen with Dorian Finney-Smith making a three pointer to give him 11 points in the game. The Jazz called timeout as they saw themselves struggling on offense and saw the Mavericks making a threat but they still had a 76-54 lead with 6:38 left in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, both teams would exchange baskets as that would be good news for the Jazz with the Mavericks not able to cut into the tremendous lead. The lead would jump to 24 points for the Jazz with 4:04 left in the quarter as the Mavericks went back to their struggling ways. Rick Carlisle would call timeout with 3:44 left in the quarter and see if that would do something for the Mavericks. The answer would be “no” as the Jazz were able to end the quarter strong to take a 94-68 lead into the fourth quarter. The Mavericks decided that they had no chance of coming back and let the Jazz do whatever they want in the third quarter. The Jazz were able to do just that to out-score the Mavericks 33-23 in the quarter.
The Mavericks were simply trying to get this one over with as the fourth quarter was simply “practice time” for both teams. The Jazz took advantage of the opportunity as Mike Conley hit a corner three to extend their lead to 27 points in the early stages of the fourth quarter. By calculations, there was just not enough time for the Mavericks to make this even a game as the Jazz continued to pour it on. For the reminder of 8:00 minutes of the game, this was a good opportunity for the Mavericks to finish the game on a positive note and carry something into the next game. Both teams started to empty out their bench as they could each see the writing on the wall and all they want is to make sure they leave the game healthy.
This team looked horrible and pathetic as their was no energy from the Dallas Mavericks in this game. They looked like they need a trade and I know someone out in Washington D.C. by the name of Bradley Beal that needs a new city to call home. The Jazz did what great teams do which was destroying poor teams. The Mavericks need to do something at the trade deadline in order to potentially save their season as fans begin to grow angry if they weren’t already.
In the end, it was the Utah Jazz defeating the Dallas Mavericks 120-101 to earn the two game series sweep. The Mavericks saw their record drop to 8-11 on the season and their losing streak would extend to four games. The only positive that came out of this game for the Mavericks was that they had a lead for the first time in this two game series which consisted of 1 point. Luka Doncic finished the game with 25 points and 6 assists. The Jazz were able to get production from Bojan Bogdanovic in this game as he scored 32 points to lead the game in scoring. The Jazz were able to extend their winning streak to 11 games for the first time since 2018. The Mavericks all of sudden found themselves in trouble as they need to see tremendous improvement if they want to climb back in the race in the western conference.
The Mavericks will leave Utah to get on a flight to travel back to Dallas to play the Phoenix Suns on Saturday at the American Airlines Center. Make sure you vote to make Luka Doncic an all-star this season as the NBA opened up their all-star voting and you can vote by going to https://vote.nba.com