by Kimya Oliver
The Utah Jazz fell short to the Dallas Mavericks in game two of the first-round series by the final score of 110-104.
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert attacked the basket to open the game. The Mavericks opened the quarter on a 16-9 run. With the dish from Juancho Hernangomez, Jordan Clarkson hit from beyond the arc to close out the first quarter with the score tied 24-24.
Clarkson opened the second quarter to play on a miss but answered back with a floater to the basket on the next possession. Mitchell drove to the basket, pumped faked his defender, and got the easy jumper to give the Jazz a five-point lead. After a slow start, Bojan Bogdanovic made a turnaround jumper and the first half ended with the Jazz leading 55-48.
Royce O’Neale found Bogdanovic rolling to the basket for the layup. The Jazz managed to hold onto their lead for the rest of the quarter with the score at 81-77.
The final quarter opened with the Jazz hitting shots until the Mavericks took the lead with six minutes left in the ball game. The Mavericks continued to drive to the basket and make shots from downtown for the remainder of the game.
The Daily Double Double
Gobert had more shot attempts in this one but was not as efficient with the ball. He had four turnovers and a few missed dunks. He did have 17 rebounds though and finished two points shy of a double-double.
How did the Jazz fall to the Mavericks in this game? Luka Doncic did not play once again, so it should have been a win for the Jazz. Defensively, the Jazz gave up too much in the final quarter of play. The Mavericks would either drive past their defender or capitalize on hitting from downtown. The Mavericks did a poor job of staying in front of their defender and giving players access to the driving lanes to the baskets.
Jalen Brunson was unstoppable. He finished the night with 41 points. The Mavericks also had a franchise-low of only three turnovers. Gobert was hung out in the dry in the fourth quarter. Once a Jazz guard was blown by, Gobert had to step up which either left a man open or Gobert was not able to get there in time which lead to an easy layup.
This game was not horrible on the offensive end. Three Jazz players were above 20 points and that is a solid night. Each team shot around the same percentage, but the Mavericks again dominated beyond the arc. Towards the end of quarters, that is where the Jazz have the most offensive flow. In the third quarter, the Jazz scored nine points in two minutes and eight in the final two minutes of the game.
In the next game, the Jazz will need to lock down defensively. It is still unknown if Doncic will return for game three of this series. If Doncic is still out, the Jazz must not let anyone score over 26-30 points. Offensively, the Jazz need to carry the same energy for the rest of the playoffs. When it is crunch time, the team with better defense will come out on top.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
Game three will be on April 21 at 7 p.m. MT.
Featured image courtesy Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press