No Porzingis, no problem for Dallas
The Mavs went into Monday nights game with Utah without their second leading scorer in Kristaps Porzingis but some of the role players stepped up in his absence as Dallas earned their first 5 game win streak of the season.
The Jazz were coming off the back of a 46 point win over Orlando on Saturday night but they suffered just their 12th defeat of the season.
Both sides traded buckets to begin the game but then the three ball started to fall for the Mavericks and they ended the quarter with a narrow lead.
Josh Richardson & Dorian Finney-Smith were the two starters tasked with stepping up in Porzingis' absence, Richardson went 4/4 from deep in the first half while Finney-Smith was taking full advantage of being guarded by Rudy Gobert.
The Mavs defense was dominant in the first half as such the home team were disappointed to have just an eight point lead at half time. Score: Jazz 42-50 Mavs.
Dallas knew they should've built up a bigger first half lead and went about achieving it in the third quarter. Utah had kept a relative lid on Luka Doncic in the first half but they had no answer to the all-star in the penultimate quarter. Doncic led the way for Dallas with 16 points in the quarter as the Mavericks built up an 18 point lead heading into the fourth.
Utah started hot in the fourth quarter as they looked to take advantage of Doncic's time on the bench. The Jazz scored off every possession they had in the first 4.5 minutes of the quarter but they couldn't force enough stops to make a dent in the Dallas lead. Brunson & Finney-Smith doing the damage in Luka's absence.
Utah closed to within 10 points but it was too little too late as both sides went cold midway through the fourth quarter and the Mavericks were able to close out the game and avoid the season sweep by Utah. Doncic finished with 31/9/8 while Dorian Finney-Smith had a season high of 23 points to go along with 6 rebs and 4 assists.
Dallas now move up to 28-21 for the season, three games clear of the 8th place Grizzlies. Utah maintain top spot in the West and in the NBA with a record of 38-12.