Superstar point guard Luka Doncic expressed his frustration Friday night after the Dallas Mavericks dropped their fourth straight game, losing to the Utah Jazz, 120-101, at Vivint Arena.

Asked to evaluate the Mavs’ performance and effort, Doncic said: “Terrible. There’s really not much to say. I’ve never felt like this and we got to do something, because this is not looking good.

“We got to step up and just talk to each other and play way better than this. It’s mostly effort. I would say like right now it’s looking like we don’t care, honestly, if we win games or not. We got to have more energy, more effort, dive for every ball, box out. Everything. It’s a lot of things that we can improve, and I know we will and that’s all that matters there.”

The Mavs (8-11) hope to start that improvement on Saturday at 8 p.m. when they host the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Center. They’ll also be hoping for a better start than what they produced on Friday.

Before the Mavs could blink, the Jazz were drilling 3-pointers, piling up a 37-11 lead late in the first quarter and showing the national (ESPN) television audience exactly how they’ve won 11 games in a row. In all, this is the longest losing streak for the Mavs since they lost seven in a row from Mar. 2-14, 2019.

“I wish we had time to be frustrated,” said James Johnson, who contributed 10 points and two blocked shots. “We have another one tomorrow. We’ve got to pick it up and we’ve got to forgot about this one.

“It’s not one of those things where you can just forget. I understand that. But at the same time this league is moving fast and games are moving fast.”

The Jazz sure were moving fast, too, as they seemed to get more than their fair share of the 50-50 balls while beating the Mavs on the boards, 56-40, including 17-8 on the offensive end of the floor. Now 15-4 on the season, Utah, led by 32 points from Bojan Bogdanovic, also converted 20-of-48 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

It was the second win in Utah in three days for the Jazz over the Mavs, who dropped a 116-104 decision in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

“They’re a great team and we just got to stay in the fight here,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We were up a little more tonight (on defense) and they countered well. They made some shots behind screens.

“Listen, I give them a lot of credit for how they played these two games and we just simply did not play well in them.”

Behind 11 points and three assists from Doncic, the Mavs got as close as 53-40 of the Jazz with two minutes remaining in the second quarter after Doncic lofted a shot in the lane over Rudy Gobert. But the Jazz went on to take a 61-45 lead at the half.

From there, Utah kept applying the pressure and increased its lead to as much as 30 points (92-62) with 2:48 left in the third quarter following a pair of free throws by Jordan Clarkson.

Kristaps Porzingis drew his fifth foul less than two minutes into the second half and the Mavs trailing, 64-45. But Jalen Brunson, rookie Josh Green, Johnson and Porzingis helped the Mavs crawl to within 103-89 of the Jazz with 6:01 remaining in the game.

“I think a bunch of guys on the bench were trying to say, ‘This is our next step for us. Are we going to be a team that folds when adversity hits or (are) we going to be the team that responds,’ and I think that was our first step,” said Brunson, who scored 13 points. “Obviously we didn’t do enough with it.

“But for us to do that in the fourth being down as much as we were, that’s a positive step. But we can’t wait until the fourth. We got to start it from the tip.”

The Mavs, who got 25 points, six rebounds and seven assists from Doncic, hope their effort in the fourth quarter will carry over into Saturday’s game against the Suns.

“I think every guy on this team has high character,” Johnson said. “Everybody is competitive and they want to win.

“We didn’t execute like we wanted to and we didn’t play as physical as we wanted to. I don’t think anybody our team is in the being embarrassed business. We’ve got to weather the storm.”

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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