The Dallas Mavericks (46-29) took sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference by beating the Utah Jazz (45-30) 114-100 Sunday night in Dallas. Utah was missing Rudy Robert and Bojan Bogdanović but were still able to start fast against a Maverick’s team that seemed confused about the game’s start time. Utah had a layup line in the first quarter before Dallas’ defense started shutting down driving lanes. After only scoring 21 points in the first quarter, Dallas answered with 37 in the second and 32 in the third when the game was decided. Dallas’ offense looked very comfortable against a Utah team missing their all-world rim defender.
18-of-22: Home wins for the Mavs in 2022.
Dallas struggled at home early in the season with Luka working his way into shape and the team adjusting to a new system. Since Jan. 1, they’ve developed a real killer instinct at the AAC. That could be a huge development for Dallas’ playoff ambitions, particularly if they hold onto a top four seed in the west.
7: Reggie Bullock’s made three pointers
On Friday night in Minnesota, non-Luka Doncic Mavericks shot 5-of-33 from deep and Reggie Bullock was a nightmarish 1-for-11. They all bounced back big time in this one, shooting 17-of-34 as a team. Reggie leads the way with seven threes on 11 attempts. Dallas’ defense is better any time Bullock is on the floor and when he hits his threes, this team is nearly unbeatable. In fact, Dallas is now 15-2 when he hits four or more threes in a game.
24-to-10: Dallas’ advantage in free throw attempts
Dallas was on fire from outside, but refused to settle for anything less than a great shot. Luka relentlessly drove to the basket, looking to finish or get crowded. He finished with 32 points and only five assists because he seemed to determined to take advantage of Utah’s lack of rim protection without Gobert. They have no one that can guard him. The Mavs got into the Bonus early in the pivotal second quarter and turned the game around be forcing the issue every time down court.
On the other end of the court Dallas defended aggressively without fouling. The first half defense was far from perfect, but some of that can be attributed to hot three point shooting by the Jazz to go along with the aforementioned slow start. The defense held Utah to 20 in the third and 21 in the fourth. The Dallas defense is clearly more comfortable Utah is at defending without a shot blocker in the game.
12: Donovan Mitchell’s points
Speaking of defense! Thanks to Hank for this little tidbit –
Donovan Mitchell in his last 3 games in Dallas:
-16 PTS on 6-23 (26%) FG, 0-8 (0%) 3PT
-17 PTS on 5-19 (26%) FG, 2-9 (22%) 3PT
-12 PTS on 4-13 (31%) FG, 1-4 (25%) 3PT
Huge if Mavs end up with homecourt advantage #MFFL
— Panda Hank (@pandahank41) March 28, 2022
Coincidence? I think not. This would be huge if Dallas can keep Utah’s best player’s lines looking like this in a playoff series.
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