DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks survived an onslaught in the final seconds to beat the Utah Jazz 111-103 in a game with postseason sensations in the Western Conference.
The reality is that the duel was “just” one more game of the regular season, but it could have serious Playoff implications beyond the fact that the aspirations of being placed in one of the four privileged places in the conference seeding for the Mavericks seem more and more real.
For now, Dallas is a half-game out of fourth place in the West, behind the Jazz. The annual series between the two is even and will be defined on March 27, at the Mavericks’ home, the scene of this Monday’s duel.
“It was a great match. At one point, (the Jazz) were two or three games ahead of us. It was good (Monday’s win) to bring us closer,” he said. Luka Doncić after the meeting. “So, as you know, at some point these games will make a difference for us.”
The Slovenian had what seems to be his “normal” 35 points and a great game down the board with 16 rebounds, his most in the current season, and seven assists, after he was unable to play in last Saturday’s game due to injuries in the left ankle.
Doncic took advantage of Monday to become the 10th leading scorer in Mavericks history with 6,485 points in less than four seasons, including the 2019-20, cut short by the pandemic and which ended inside the Orlando bubble.
“It’s unbelievable what this guy is doing so fast,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “Great scorers and very good players have passed through here. It’s been less than four years… Luka is getting more and more prepared and better in the big games”.
Doncic was seconded by Spencer Dinwiddie (23 points), who seems increasingly adapted to the game of Kidd and his teammates and anyone would say that he has been in Dallas for a long time, but the reality is that he arrived at the most recent trade deadline.
For the Mavericks, the win over the Jazz extends their winning streak to five, their seventh in eight games and 11th in the last 13 games.
The triumph did not come without some scares. Dallas squandered what amounted to a 17-point lead with less than nine minutes left and it was cut to six with 1:08 and 31 seconds left, but the Mavericks sealed the win when Dinwiddle made three free throws. in a row.
“When we’re in rhythm together, good things happen for us,” Dinwiddie said. “At times it can be Luka, at others me or any of the boys. Every time I feel better here. Physically, the Western Conference is tough, but games like this are the big ones.”
Gobert played despite being listed as questionable with a sore left calf; the same one in which he suffered a strain that caused him to lose nine games.
The Mavericks will look to close out a four-game homestand on Wednesday when they host the New York Knicks, before heading on a five-game road trip that includes four Eastern Conference teams.
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Mavs and Jazz offer a taste of the Playoffs