Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points and the Utah Jazz beat the COVID-19-depleted Dallas Mavericks 120-116
SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points and the Utah Jazz beat the COVID-19-depleted Dallas Mavericks 120-116 on Saturday night.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 25 points and Mike Conley had 22 to lift the Jazz (23-9) to their 13th win in their last 15 games.
It wasn’t the Christmas night matchup the NBA hoped for with Luka Doncic among the Mavs stuck in the league’s health and safety protocols. Still, it was competitive to the end despite several new signees getting significant minutes for Dallas.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Reggie Bullock, Trey Burke, JaQuori McLaughlin and Josh Green were also sidelined in the health and safety protocols for the Mavericks. In addition, Willie Cauley-Stein was out for personal reasons and Dorian Finney-Smith missed the game with a non-COVID illness.
The Jazz still have not lost a player to the coronavirus, and the depth and experience showed as Utah took over in the fourth quarter.
Jalen Brunson scored 27 points and Porzingis returned after two games out with a sore toe to tally 27 points for Dallas. Frank Ntilikina had a season-best 17 points, marking the first time he’s scored in double figures in back-to-back games this season.
Guarded by Royce O’Neale — who is nine inches shorter — Porzingis scored six straight points to give Dallas an 84-75 lead with 4:45 left in the third quarter.
Dallas led 94-92 in the fourth quarter before the Jazz went on a 10-0 run punctuated by Jordan Clarkson’s one-handed alley-oop to Rudy Gobert that made it 102-94 for Utah. The Jazz never trailed the rest of the way
Mavericks (15-17) have lost four of five but started strong. Porzingis powered Dallas to a 26-11 lead with a jumper, a dunk and five throws while the Jazz went 5 for 17 and had five turnovers.
The Mavericks’ zone defense flustered the Jazz early, but the Jazz started hitting perimeter shots and getting to the basket. Mitchell scored 16 points in the second quarter to spur the Jazz to a 65-63 lead at the half.
The Mavericks’ aggressiveness kept the team neck-and-neck with Utah, and Dallas was 30 of 35 at the foul line, their highest number of free throws made and attempted this season. The teams combined to shoot 72 free throws.
Mavericks: Dallas shot 21 first-half free throws (and the Jazz shot 20). … Porzingis missed both technical free throws he attempted, one in each half. … Porzingis and O’Neale wrestled to the ground on a boxout late in the game.
Jazz: Mitchell notched his ninth 30-point game of the season. … Mitchell went to the locker room in the first quarter but returned in the second period for a flurry of offense, though a bit hobbled. … The Jazz have outscored their opponents in 12 straight games while Conley has been on the court. … Joe Ingles got a technical for the second straight game.
Mavericks: Visit Portland on Monday night.
Jazz: Visit San Antonio on Monday night for first road game in 16 days.
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