Mavericks Fall Apart Late in Tough Loss to the Utah Jazz

Mavericks Fall Apart Late in Tough Loss to the Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) high-fives his teammate, guard Jordan Clarkson (00), next to Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green (8) during gameplay. | Image by Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The Dallas Mavericks were on the road to take on the Utah Jazz in the first game after the All-Star break and lost 114-109.

It was a tight game, featuring eight lead changes, making this a tough loss for the Mavericks. It also gave a glimpse of a possible playoff matchup. If the season ended today, Dallas would face Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. 

Luka Doncic had 23 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds for Dallas. Dwight Powell added a season-high 22 points, while Spencer Dinwiddie had 20 points, and Davis Bertans 17.

The Mavericks held a 107-105 lead with 3:30 remaining, but the Utah Jazz closed the game on a 9-2 run to seal the win. Utah forced Dallas into six missed shots and a turnover while they embarked on their closing run. Doncic missed two three-pointers on back-to-back possessions with under a minute remaining. 

“They were good shots; they just didn’t go in,” Doncic said.

The Mavericks cold shooting down the stretch was a reversal from the beginning of the game. Dallas made their first seven shot attempts and ten three-pointers in the first half. Overall, the Mavericks made 25-of-45 (56%) shot attempts in the first two quarters and led by as many as nine points before the halftime break.

Despite the successful shooting, the Dallas defense allowed Utah to score effectively, offsetting any advantage. In the first half, the Jazz made 20-of-35 (57%) total shot attempts, but Dallas still led 67-60 at halftime.

Both teams continued shooting the ball well in the third quarter, but the Jazz took the lead thanks to six three-pointers in that period alone. Utah went on a 13-3 run in the third and held an 89-86 lead to start the fourth. 

Utah Jazz extended their advantage to 92-86 early in the fourth quarter, but Dallas answered with a 10-0 run to take a 96-92 lead. Bertans and Dinwiddie made back-to-back three-pointers as part of the run. 

Both defenses continued to be non-existent as the two teams traded shots back and forth. It was not until the final 3:30 remaining when the Utah Jazz defense finally stepped up to allow only one Dallas basket for the remainder of the game.  

“We had a lot of great looks, and we shot it extremely well there in the first half,” Dallas head coach Jason Kidd said. “In the second half, we got those same shots that just didn’t go down for us.”

The Mavericks looked to move on from this loss quickly as they faced the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. The Warriors have a better record than the Jazz and are currently in second place in the Western Conference.

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