The Utah Jazz are playing stellar basketball lately and are coming off one of their finest offensive performances of the season as they head into Monday’s game in Dallas against the Mavericks.
Utah made 26 three-pointers and shot a season-best 55.4 percent from the field on Saturday on their way to a 137-91 victory over Orlando. The Jazz made an NBA record 18 three-pointers before half-time and emptied their bench by the start of the fourth quarter.
Utah (38-11) won its ninth straight game overall and extended its franchise-record home winning streak to 22 games.
“This is one of those nights for us where we played really well, and we played the right way,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “We played a team that is going through a transition. That said, we were happy with the way we played and continue to emphasise our identity as a team.”
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Donovan Mitchell has been key to Utah’s surge since the All-Star break. Against Orlando, he made 6-of-7 three-pointers in the first half to help the Jazz build a 78-40 half-time lead. He is averaging 28.3 points in the 12 games he’s played since the All-Star break and has shot 50 percent or better from the field seven times in that stretch.
It isn’t just scoring where Mitchell is making his impact felt. He also averaged 6.1 assists in March.
“My job is to go out there and put the ball in the basket, but it’s the other things – being a leader, being that guy with the ball in his hands to be able to make smart decisions throughout the entire game,” Mitchell said. “I would say that this has probably been my best stretch.”
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Dallas (27-21) is enjoying its own surge behind the all-round play of Luka Doncic. The Mavericks have won four straight to climb into seventh place in the Western Conference standings behind the league-leading Jazz.
Doncic is averaging 28.3 points on 54.4 percent shooting during the four-game winning streak, along with 6.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists. He has also tallied at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a league-best 34 games this season.
This included 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 109-87 victory over Washington on Saturday. The Mavericks played the Wizards without three of their regular starters: Josh Richardson (left calf tightness), Kristaps Porzingis (right knee injury recovery), and Maxi Kleber (left leg contusion), yet still held the Wizards to 40 points after half-time.
“The second half, it was terrific,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Twenty-point defensive quarter in the third, 20-point defensive quarter in the fourth. That was the key.”
Utah beat Dallas in a two-game set in Salt Lake City in January, winning 116-104 and 120-101. Mitchell missed both games with an injury, but the Jazz got a big lift from Rudy Gobert in his absence. Gobert averaged 23 points, 16 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks across the two games.
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