01/27 23:50 CST Jazz beat Mavericks 116-104 for 10th straight victory
Jazz beat Mavericks 116-104 for 10th straight victory
By JOHN COON
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) --- Playing without leading scorer Donovan Mitchell didn't
slow down the Utah Jazz.
Utah never trailed in a 116-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday
night. The Jazz overwhelmed the Mavericks on both ends of the court on their
way to their 10th straight victory and the NBA overall lead.
Rudy Gobert led the way with his best all-around performance of the season. He
finished with 29 points and 20 rebounds -- both season highs -- and had three
blocks and three steals.
Gobert's dominance around the basket took Dallas out of it early and the
Mavericks could never get back on track. His effort ultimately helped Utah pass
the Lakers --- losers in Philadelphia on Wednesday -- for the NBA's best record
"It's probably the first time since I've been here that I've seen that much
focus from everyone in this locker room," Gobert said. "I really feel like
we're playing for something bigger and we're on a mission."
Jordan Clarkson added a season-high 31 points off the bench. Joe Ingles chipped
in a season-high 21 points --- on seven 3-pointers --- and eight assists for
Utah. He matched his career high with the seven 3s, falling one shy of tying
the franchise record.
Mitchell was sidelined for the first time this season after he entered the NBA
concussion protocol. Ingles made his first start of the season in Mitchell's
The Jazz shot 53.7% from the floor and made 14 3-pointers through the first
"It's just a really fun group to play with," Ingles said. "We play for each
other. There's no egos involved. It's not as unsalvagable as people think."
Luka Doncic scored 30 points for the Mavericks. Tim Hardaway, Jr. added 19
points and Kristaps Porzingis 18. Dallas lost its third straight game.
"We're just not ourselves right now," Doncic said. "We're gonna have to pick it
up and be way better than this."
Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson returned to the Mavericks' starting
lineup after both players missed nine games apiece due to COVID-19 healthy and
safety protocols. Dwight Powell also returned after an eight-game absence.
Utah got an early boost on offense from Ingles and Gobert. Ingles made a pair
of 3-pointers and assisted on two other baskets to help the Jazz stake out a
23-12 lead. Both assists were on baskets from Gobert, who had 10 points in the
The Jazz expanded their lead to 32-17 late in the first quarter following three
straight baskets from Clarkson that capped a 9-0 run. Then, Clarkson scored 13
of Utah's first 16 points in the second quarter. His final basket in that
stretch put the Jazz up 48-27.
"The first half was the was the killer," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
"We didn't come out with enough force, enough disposition, enough energy. They
were great and we did not play well."
Utah led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter, going up 98-73 on a
step-back 3-pointer from Clarkson.
The Jazz never let the Mavericks draw closer than 12 points the rest of the
way. Utah coach Quin Snyder credited the team's success to playing with energy
and communicating well on both ends of the court from the opening tip.
"We want to be unselfish, help each other on both ends of the floor," Snyder
said. "The game can be simple if you let it be."
The teams will complete a two-game set in Utah on Friday night.
Mavericks: Hardaway needs to make two 3-pointers to reach 1,000 career made
3-pointers. He made four 3s against the Jazz. ... James Johnson had a
season-high four blocked shots. ... Dallas went 0 of 6 from 3-point range in
the first quarter.
Jazz: Derrick Favors sat out with lower back soreness. ... Seven of Ingles'
eight assists were on Gobert's baskets. ... Gobert scored his most points in an
NBA game since getting 35 points in a 108-101 victory over New York in March
During their 10-game winning streak, the Jazz have trailed for a total of 57
seconds in the fourth quarter. New York held a one-point lead to start the
fourth in its 108-94 loss on Tuesday before Clarkson helped Utah take the lead
for good with his first basket of the quarter.
"It's just a crazy feeling and crazy vibe that we have and that we preach here.
The ball doesn't stick. We're all just playing off energy and synergy." --
Clarkson on what has driven Utah's rise to the top of the Western Conference
after a 4-4 start.
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