NBA Basketball

119
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Utah 37 28 31 23 119
Dallas 34 24 23 31 112
112
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3020:30 ET6:30 PM CTNaN:� , March 22, 2018
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas  Attendance: 19,725

Jazz not overlooking Mavericks

According to STATS
According to STATS

Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks

  1. Utah has won five of its last six meetings with Dallas, including both matchups this season. The Jazz are looking to sweep the season series for the first time since 1998-99.
  2. Utah lost to Atlanta, 99-94 on Tuesday, after winning 21 of its previous 23 games. The Jazz shot 6-for-34 (.174) from three in the game, their lowest percentage this season, and are 0-9 when shooting under 25.0 percent from three in 2017-18.
  3. The Mavericks had 25 assists and just eight turnovers in the loss to New Orleans on Tuesday, their sixth game this season with at least 25 assists and fewer than 10 turnovers. Since January 1, the Mavericks have the highest assist/turnover ratio in the league (2.01).
  4. Joe Ingles is shooting 48.4 percent from three-point range in the first quarter, the highest in the NBA (minimum 100 attempts). His 44.3 percent from three overall this season is on pace to break his own record from last season (44.1) as the highest percentage in Jazz history (minimum 250 attempts).
  5. Dwight Powell has improved his field-goal percentage from 51.5 percent in 2016-17 to 61.1 percent, the largest single-season improvement in Mavericks history (minimum 350 attempts both seasons). He is on pace to join Tyson Chandler as the only two players to shoot over 60.0 percent from the field in a single season in Mavericks history (minimum 350 attempts).
  6. The Jazz shoot 81.5 percent from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, the highest in the NBA this season. The Mavericks, on the other hand, shoot 72.8 percent from the free-throw line in the fourth, the third lowest in the NBA (Thunder, Lakers).

Losses have been few rare for Utah over the last two months, but any setback over the next three weeks could potentially be devastating as the Jazz try to hold on to a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

It is why opening a three-game road trip Thursday by visiting the Dallas Mavericks is so important for Utah.

The Jazz (40-31) lost for only the third time in 24 games Tuesday at home against Atlanta. The 99-94 defeat was enough to drop Utah to eighth place in the West standings, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Denver Nuggets.

Four games separated fourth-place Oklahoma City with the 10th-place Los Angeles Clippers. The Jazz can't look at every game as a must-win, even it feels that way.

Utah feels it must get the trip off on the right foot, especially with games at San Antonio and Golden State looming.

"Are we going to sit around and cry about losing to the Atlanta Hawks?" Utah center Rudy Gobert said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. "Or are we going to move on? We have to stay focused. We have to stay confident and stay hungry. We have to keep trusting each other. But we gotta know right now that we can beat anyone or lose to anyone."

The defeat to the lottery-bound Hawks provided a valuable lesson for a squad that enjoyed a nine-game winning streak going into the game and an 11-game unbeaten run to start its surge in the West.

"We found out that we're not invincible," Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell said, according to the Tribune. "We can't play well all the time, and we're going to have games like this. But we weren't able to make shots and execute. It was an off night, but we'll get better offensively."

The Jazz are 2-0 against Dallas this season and a win Thursday at American Airlines Center would give Utah its first series sweep since 1998-99. Gobert is averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the first two games against the Mavs.

The Mavericks (22-49) have lost three straight and are likely without point guard Dennis Smith Jr. The rookie missed Tuesday's 115-105 loss at New Orleans with a sprained ankle suffered Saturday at Brooklyn.

After struggling in Friday's overtime loss at Toronto, Smith was producing a solid game against the Nets before going down.

"It just means I'm becoming an NBA player," Smith said. "They say that the biggest thing for me to learn is the next play, or next game and next shot. That's part of the learning process."

Smith was relieved that X-rays were negative. He's confident he'll return to the court before the season is done.

"I want to finish the year out strong and I can't do that if I'm hurt," Smith said.

Dallas went 1-3 on its four-game road trip spread over nine days and two countries.

"It seemed exceptionally long, but if you're going to set up the schedule for better spacing, this is going to be one of the by-products," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of the road trip. "It'll be good to get back. We did some good things on the trip, but it's time to go home."

Updated March 22, 2018

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