The Dallas Mavericks took on the Utah Jazz in their first game back from the All-Star break, losing a tough contest 114-109. The game was close all the way through and ultimately came down to the wire as these two teams compete for the fourth seed. The impactful defense of Rudy Gobert proved to be too much down the stretch as Dallas failed to convert on their final seven shots with the exception of the quick putback layup by Dorian Finney-Smith.
39%: The Mavericks’ field goal percentage in the fourth quarter.
After a strong offensive performance for the first three quarters, Dallas struggled to close out the game, shooting 9-of-23. As mentioned before, the Mavs missed their final seven shots. While that had a lot to do with Gobert’s impressive defense in isolation situations, Dallas strayed from their offensive scheme that had been proving to be successful all night. After having arguably his best performance of the season, Dwight Powell was subbed out with four minutes to go for Maxi Kleber who shot 1-of-7 on the night. It was an incredibly frustrating end to what could be a very meaningful game by the end of the regular season.
37, 14-of-21: Combined points and shooting for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.
The frustration of the loss should not overshadow the fantastic performances of Dallas’ latest additions. Not only did they combine for 37 points off of the bench, but they did it in an efficient manner. Dinwiddie found his groove playing with a sense of confidence while running the offense after getting hot despite Doncic still being on the floor. This allowed for Doncic to get some rest while Dinwiddie continued to keep his foot on the gas. Bertans also had his best game of the season, pouring it in from outside. The Latvian Laser has come in and carved out a role due to how well he can move off screens in order to get to his spots and convert. Having Doncic, Brunson, and Dinwiddie, three unselfish, incredibly skilled guards to find him makes it that much easier for him to do his job.
44-30: Utah’s rebounding advantage
The Mavericks got outrebounded by 14 tonight. Granted, Rudy Gobert is no easy task to handle, it’s very difficult to win games when you lose the rebound battle that significantly. Hopefully Dallas can get Marquese Chriss back soon enough to help in that department.
The Mavs take on the Golden State Warriors in a Sunday matinee matchup before making their way to Los Angeles to battle against the Lakers on Tuesday.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.