The Dallas Mavericks had to win against the Utah Jazz Monday night if they wanted a shot at claiming home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Thankfully they followed through and defeated a tired Jazz team 111-103.
Luka Doncic led the way with 35 points and various over Mavericks contributed to the solid win. Here are three stats we noticed.
14: Combined threes made by Doncic, Dinwiddie, and Finney-Smith
Dallas made 17 three pointers against the Jazz and the trio of Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Dorian Finney-Smith made 14 of them.
Doncic and Dinwiddie combining to go 10-of-20 was huge against the Rudy Gobert-led Jazz defense, as those two making off the dribble threes both in and outside of the pick and roll helped carve up the Jazz defense. Finney-Smith was the only Maverick role player to reliably make shots from the creation of Doncic and Dinwiddie and every bucket mattered as the Jazz tried to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter.
2: Three pointers made by Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell torched the Mavericks in their previous matchup, making 7-of-12 from three and canning threes within the flow of the Jazz pick and roll attack. A small, bouncy guard that can pull up from deep is the one area that can really take down the Mavericks newly found elite defense.
Due to what seemed to be a combination of tired legs and better Mavericks defense, Mitchell only went 2-of-9 from three. Credit the Mavericks perimeter defenders for staying closer to Mitchell than they did in the previous game.
16: Number of rebounds for Luka Doncic
Against Gobert and the Jazz, rebounding is crucial — the Jazz are one of the best in the league and the Mavericks have a particularly thin frontline after the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Doncic decided to pick up the slack.
Doncic’s 16 rebounds were not only a team-high but a game-high. The Mavericks two big men, Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber, combined for 10 rebounds. This was a special game from Doncic, where he seemingly did whatever the team needed to secure the victory.
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