by Kimya Oliver
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Donovan Mitchell drove to the basket to start the first quarter. The Mavericks opened the game on a 13-5 run. Luka Doncic hit from downtown and then Mitchell answered by hitting from deep. The back and forth first quarter ended with the Jazz leading 24-23.
The second quarter started off rough with the Jazz going scoreless for three minutes. Juancho Hernangomez made a jump shot from beyond the arc to get the offense going. The Jazz expanded their lead to double digits with three minutes left in the first half. With the time running out, Bojan Bogdanovic hit from deep to help the Jazz lead 54-42 after a buzzer beater from Doncic.
Mike Conley made a step-back jumper to open the third quarter. The Jazz offense fell off and the Mavericks began to creep up, closing the margin to one point with less than five minutes left in the penultimate frame. The Mavericks gained offensive momentum, closing the third quarter leading 81-78.
Once again the Jazz opened the fourth quarter on a scoring slump. Royce O’Neale threw the alley-oop dunk to Rudy Gobert to start the offense. With 40 seconds left on the clock, Doncic made a three-pointer to extend the Mavericks’ lead lead to 99-95. Mitchell drove to the basket and missed, but made up for it by making a three-point play the old fashioned way. The Jazz trailed 99-98 with 20 seconds left. After two missed free throws by Dwight Powell under the pressure of the deafening crowd, Mitchell threw it up to Gobert on the other end for the alley-oop to close the game.
The Daily Double-Double
Clarkson dropped 25 points tonight and Mitchell finished with 23 points. Gobert was back in the double-double column with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Doncic also had a double-double for the Mavs in his return.
The Jazz barely pulled this one-off. Everyone knew Doncic was going to drop the most points. The offense was great in the final minutes of the ball game. Instead of jacking up shots beyond the arc, the Jazz played it smart by driving to the basket for an easy layup or a chance to go to the charity stripe. The Jazz shot 35 percent on the floor in the fourth quarter compared to the Mavericks who shot 33 percent.
The Jazz are in a better position than they would be if they lost this game. That’s because with a loss the Jazz would be down 3-1 and going to Dallas. With the series tied, the outcome is still in the air. The team with the better defense will come out on top with the win. In my opinion, Bogdanovic had the best defensive performance of the game. The entire Jazz team fed off Bogdanovic’s intensity.”
In the next game, this is a must-win for the Jazz. If the Jazz goes down 3-2, it’ll be extremely hard to win back-to-back games. They will need to lock Doncic down. This means they need to contain him to 25 points and make sure another player does not get hot from the floor. The only other person I think should be on the radar is Jalen Brunson. Brunson dropped 23 in this game.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
Game 5 will be on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
Featured image courtesy Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News