by Alma Bean
Feature Image: Photo by Rob Gray
The Utah Jazz (25-26) takes on the Dallas Mavericks (26-24) as tensions rise in the Western Conference standings.
Big D in SLC
With Dallas coming in without MVP candidate Luka Doncic, Utah fans had a sense of relief, but some may have had flashbacks of the 2021-22 playoffs where Doncic missed the beginning of the series. Utah allowed this roster adjustment to give them confidence on the court as they shot 12/18 (66.7%) from the field. This confidence led to Utah limiting themselves to 3/6 (50%) from the perimeter and focusing on driving into the paint. With the help of a seven-point quarter from both Lauri Markkanen (29 points and 5 rebounds) and Collin Sexton (12/2/1), Utah finished the quarter with a 34-23 lead.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “What’s a good rookie performance where they swat a shot? 🤔 #TakeNote https://t.co/5Y2q7dwsSu” / Twitter
Utah continued their impressive shooting in the second quarter. Shooting 25/42 (59.5%) from the field and 7/17 (41.2%) from the perimeter, Utah had answers for anything Dallas threw their way. Tim Hardaway Jr. (10/4/2) struggled in the second quarter missing all of his shots after scoring five points in the first quarter. Reggie Bullock (19/5/2) decided to take matters into his own hands shooting 4/5 (80%) from the field and 3/4 (75%) from the perimeter. As the quarter was coming to a close, Malik Beasley (19/4/2) missed a perimeter shot as the shot clock was winding down. He was able to get his own rebound and take another three-point attempt. Beasley’s attempt went in as Utah went into the half with a 66-48 lead over Dallas.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “now that was a 𝚆𝚊𝚕𝚔 of art 🎨 https://t.co/pmmnWGDE5N” / Twitter
Yellow Highlight Reel
Dallas came into the third quarter with a newfound intensity on defense. Utah being held to one of their worst scoring quarters this season, Dallas was able to catch up with the help of 7/16 (43.8%) shooting from the perimeter. Even Utah’s second-leading scorer Jordan Clarkson (14/7/3), had his only two points for the quarter from the free throw line after scoring 12 points in the first half. Utah’s inability to score must’ve messed with the team mentally as they allowed the most points in a quarter with 28 points. The only positive for Utah was Walker Kessler‘s (14/11/2) ability to defend the paint as he collected his fifth block of the game. Though Dallas was able to outscore Utah in the quarter, Dallas went into the final quarter trailing 84-76.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “😈 attack the rack 😈 https://t.co/Ybbhhpsur6” / Twitter
With momentum on their side, Dallas tried to continue to expose Utah’s blitz on Spencer Dinwiddie (35/4/8). Dinwiddie, who had been hot from the floor all game, struggled in the final quarter shooting 1/8 (12.5%) from the field. His ability to force contact put Dinwiddie at the free throw line where he shot 6/6 (100%). One of his trips to the line was a drive contesting Kessler, which initially looked like a clean block but after the replay, it could have been seen as a potential goaltend. Luckily for Utah, Kessler was charged with the shooting foul as Dinwiddie went to the line for two free throw shots. From the 4:11 mark in the game, Dallas matched Utah point-for-point till the end of regulation as Utah tied up the season series 1-1 with a 108-100 win.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘦𝘦𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 🎯 #TakeNote | @mbeasy https://t.co/x2Ac6s118c” / Twitter
Utah will get a much-needed break as they don’t have their next matchup till Wednesday as they have their first meeting against the Toronto Raptors this season at home.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: ““It’s a good win for us.” @MarkkanenLauri joins the #WalkoffInterview 🎤 #TakeNote | @lhmauto https://t.co/rbwLeDO66S” / Twitter