by Alma Bean
Feature Image: Tony Gutierrez of AP Photo
The Utah Jazz (31-34) takes on the revamped Dallas Mavericks (33-32) as Utah looks to end its three-game losing streak.
The Good, The Bad, and The Defense
Utah started off the game hot shooting 6/8 (75%) from the field including a wide-open three from Simone Fontecchio (6/3/1) on the first play of the game. Dallas with their entire roster available, decided to keep Luka Doncic (29/10/6) on the floor for all 12 minutes of the first quarter. This worked to their benefit as Doncic was able to score 12 points in the quarter. Having Dallas shooting 12/22 (54.5%), keeping Doncic was working in their favor. Utah kept things fairly even shooting 13/27 (48.2%) but Dallas’s free throws gave them the upper hand. With the personnel that Utah was missing, Rudy Gay (10/6/4) led the way in the first quarter with eight points but they ended the quarter trailing 34-31.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “🤌 fantastico 🤌 #TakeNote | @Simofonte13 https://t.co/sYlnO5qprn” / Twitter
Even with Walker Kessler out for this game, it felt like the paint was still a struggle for Dallas. Shooting 6/14 (42.9%) in the paint with the defensive presence of Damian Jones (7/6/1) didn’t result in blocks but resulted in missed shot opportunities. Dallas looked as if they were going run away with the score until Kelly Olynyk (12/7/3) led a 22-8 run to finish the half. Tim Hardaway Jr. (24/4/4) tried to keep the lead for Dallas, but Utah was able to fight back to finish the half with a 59-59 tie.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “throwin’ it 𝙙𝙤𝙬𝙣 in Dallas #TakeNote | @MarkkanenLauri https://t.co/pkhUZXjEqG” / Twitter
Race to the Finnish
Utah had a quiet start to the second half. Shooting 45.5/40/62.5 across the board for the quarter, Kris Dunn (11/8/5) was Utah’s silent killer. Shooting 3/3 (100%) for the quarter and accounting for nine of Utah’s 27 points, Dunn continues to show his value on a short-term contract. Dallas wasn’t able to create much separation in the quarter shooting 10/23 (43.5%) for the quarter with Doncic accounting for Dallas’s 28 points. Dallas gaining a one-point advantage in the court would lead to an 87-86 lead going into the final quarter.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “all k𝘙𝘐𝘡𝘡, all-day #TakeNote | @Krisdunn3 https://t.co/iHnxBN1D12” / Twitter
Talen Horton-Tucker (21/6/4) had himself a hot and cold night but in the fourth quarter, he caught fire. Shooting 4/6 (66.7%) from the field with 10 of his points coming from the fourth. His flaw for the night was his five turnovers for the night. He would have stretches with offensive prowess and then questionable plays that would make you think he needs to sit on the bench or spend some time in the G League. The game came down to the final second with Dunn and Kyrie Irving (33/6/8). Dunn challenged Irving on a three-point shot and was given a late foul call. Utah head coach Will Hardy opted to use his coach’s challenge with the score at 115-11 Dallas. The challenge was unsuccessful due to “no clear or conclusive evidence to overturn the call.” Utah was able to get within three points with three seconds left in the game and it all came down to Horton-Tucker. Horton-Tucker made the first free throw which forced him to try and miss the second attempt to give Utah the ability to get another shot attempt to potentially force overtime. Looked as if he didn’t remember that the ball must hit the rim as he confidently shot the ball right into the backboard and gave Dallas possession leading to a final score of 120-116.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Ochai threes>>> #TakeNote | @youngoch https://t.co/AxxLhN4YWU” / Twitter
Utah will travel to the east coast as they take on Orlando Magic on Thursday in hopes of ending their four-game skid.