Brunson, Mavericks beat Jazz 126-118 to take 2-1 collection lead | Sports activities

SALT LAKE CITY — Jalen Brunson was mendacity flat and nonetheless, watching his Dallas teammates construct a 17-point lead earlier than halftime on the monitor within the locker room.

“I saw how hard the team was playing when I was laying back there,” Brunson mentioned. “It gave me a little mojo to come back out there and do my thing.”

Brunson scored 31 factors enjoying with a bruised again and the Mavericks — with out the injured Luka Doncic — beat the Utah Jazz 126-118 on Thursday night time to take a 2-1 lead within the first-round playoff collection.

“We’re all on the same page,” Brunson said. “We’re all clicking. We’re all talking and communicating.”

Dallas coach Jason Kidd isn’t happy with the street win and the collection benefit.

“I just told the guys we haven’t done anything,” Kidd said. “They won at our place and now we won here. We need to put this game behind us and figure out what we need to do better.”

It’s laborious to think about the Mavericks enjoying significantly better with out Doncic and hope to have him again for the following recreation.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 of his 20 factors within the fourth quarter for Dallas, Maxi Kleber had 17 factors and Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 factors, hitting a 3-pointer with 1:56 left for a 10-point lead.

Doncic has missed all three of the video games within the collection with a strained calf, with indicators pointing to his return for Game 4 on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

Donovan Mitchell scored 28 of his 32 factors within the second half for Utah. Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 and Mike Conley had 21. The Jazz had gained 11 in a row at dwelling in opposition to Dallas.

Conley acquired the Jazz to 103-102, however Dinwiddie made two baskets and Brunson scored six factors on three straight possessions to make it 113-104.

“His shot-creating and shot-making has been amazing all season, but the determination he has coming down the stretch to hit those big shots and the confidence he has is just fun to watch,” Kleber mentioned.

Brunson appeared to harm his again halfway by the second quarter when Royce O’Neale hit him full-speed from behind. He moved gingerly, rubbed his decrease again and earned a technical on his means off the courtroom complaining about an affordable shot.

Brunson didn’t wish to elaborate on the hit after the sport. “I said what I had to say” on the ground.

But he shook it off and toyed with Jazz on a wide range of drives to the hampers in opposition to a number of completely different defenders. Brunson now has 96 factors within the three video games of the collection. He solely has one turnover within the final two video games.

“He’s unique in his physical strength and his ability to kind of keep his dribble alive in the lane where he really uses his body. He’s able to play with his feet on the floor, so if you do try to come over and help, he has the ability to find people and spray the ball out,” Utah coach Quin Snyder mentioned.


Though the Mavericks have been short-handed, the bench made an enormous distinction.

“I trust every one of those guys and we just want to put them in a position to succeed,” Kidd mentioned.

Kleber, Davis Bertans (15 factors) and Josh Green (12 factors) mixed to shoot 11 for 17 from behind the 3-point line and scored 44 factors.

“It’s just trusting each other. Every single guy, if we take a great look, we’re happy and believe in each other,” Bertans mentioned.

In all, the Dallas reserves outscored the Utah bench 49-24.


Mavericks: After going 8 for 11 from 3-point vary in Game 2, Kleber made three straight in his first two minutes on the courtroom. “I just let it fly,” Kleber mentioned. … Tim Hardaway Jr. (foot surgical procedure) might be out for the playoffs except Dallas makes a deep run. … Dirk Nowitzki and Mark Cuban celebrated with the crew within the locker room.

Jazz: Olympic gold medalist skier Lindsey Vonn and boxer Floyd Mayweather sat courtside. … Clarkson made a three-quarter-court shot however it got here simply after the first-quarter horn. … Eric Paschall solely performed 10 minutes (at heart) however scored six factors and Utah outscored Dallas by 9 factors throughout that point.

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