SALT LAKE CITY – Whatever good tidings the Dallas Mavericks felt after winning at home Tuesday night against Washington apparently didn’t travel with them to Salt Lake City.
Marred by a bevy of turnovers, the Mavs fell behind early and often against Utah and the Jazz seized the moment and cruised to a 117-102 victory Wednesday night before a sellout crowd of 18,306 at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The loss dropped the Mavs to 3-8 overall and 0-6 on the road, while the Jazz improved to 5-6 overall and won their first home game of the season against four losses.
After arriving at their Salt Lake City hotel at around 1:30 Wednesday morning, the Mavs appeared gassed against the Jazz. Less than two minutes into the game, Dallas had already committed a pair of turnovers, and that led to a timeout by coach Rick Carlisle.
By the time the game ended, the Mavs had turned the ball over a season-high 25 times leading to 31 points for Utah.
“We had seven (turnovers) in the first quarter, which led to a lot of points,” Carlisle said. “You give up 31 points on 25 turnovers on the road in the Western Conference and you’re going to have a rough night.”
The Mavs’ rough start was the impetus the Jazz used to march ahead, 30-18, at the conclusion of the first quarter. Utah’s lead swelled to as high as 24 points before it settled on a 68-45 lead at intermission.
“We had too many turnovers,” said Luka Doncic, who finished with a game-high 24 points and six rebounds. “With that many turnovers it’s difficult to win a game.
“I think it was a tough back-to-back, but we didn’t have our mentality right. It’s ashamed.”
The Mavs mounted a threat and got within 76-60 of the Jazz when Dennis Smith Jr. drained a 3-pointer five minutes into the second half. And the Mavs got as close as nine points – 101-92 – with 9:17 left in the game after rookie Jalen Brunson scored, then stole the inbounds pass and scored again.
“I just read his eyes,” said Brunson, referring to the inbounds pass he stole from Derrick Favors. “We just try to pride ourselves on not giving up no matter what we’re down.
“We just keep trying to play hard. We got ourselves back in it, but you’ve got to credit them because they’re a good team.”
With a chance to narrow the deficit to six or seven points, the Mavs misfired on their next five possessions. Moments later, a layup and a pair of free throws by Donovan Mitchell, and a 21-footer by ex-Mavs forward Jae Crowder helped the Jazz build their lead to 107-94.
Afterwards, forward Harrison Barnes said there’s no explanation with the way the Mavs played in the first half.
“We just have to play better,” said Barnes, who had 14 points and five rebounds. “I think we’re in a position where each of us has to just look in the mirror and just say we just didn’t get it done.
“Our second unit has done a good job all year of getting us back into games. Our starters haven’t been doing a good enough job of starting things out. We had opportunities there to cut it down, but we couldn’t close the gap.”
Other than Doncic and Barnes, the Mavs got 13 points and six rebounds from Wesley Matthews, 11 points apiece from J. J. Barea and Brunson, and 10 points from Dennis Smith Jr. Also, DeAndre Jordan (11 points, 12 rebounds) picked up his eighth double-double of the season and now has at least 10 rebounds in the opening 11 games, which is a franchise record.
Actually, the Mavs outscored the Jazz in the second half, 57-49. But that first-half hole they dug for themselves was too deep to climb out of.
“The positives are the second half,” Carlisle said. “We won both quarters in the second half, but it’s a 48-minute game and we’ve got to be all there for all 48. We’ve got to take care of the ball.
“The West is going to test you every night. It’s going to test your togetherness, it’s going to test your collective will. And we’ve just got to stick together and be up to it.”
NOTES: Mavs coach Rick Carlisle praised rookie point guard Jalen Brunson, who scored a career-high 11 points while playing only 16 minutes. “Brunson was a very positive factor in the game tonight,” Carlisle said. “Good job both ends. (He was a plus-nine in 16 minutes. That tells you he’s ready to play, which is great. We need those kinds of performances from top to bottom.”. .Carlisle was asked about rookie Luka Doncic being compared to some of the game’s great players. “I’m not seeking that stuff out,” Carlisle said. “We knew the guy was a good player. We knew he could make plays, knew he could score, could rebound. Listen, if you’re going to jump into this league as a young player you better jump in with some force, some presence and some authority. Otherwise, you’re going to get hit in the face. That’s how tough of a league it is. In today’s world with social media and all the way things are happening in real time, there’s certainly more talk about everything going on minute-to-minute.”. .The Mavs shot just 39.7 percent from the field, but did make 36 of their 40 free throw attempts. Those were the most free throws the Mavs have attempted in a game since Apr. 4, 2015 when they went 39-of-44 from the line during a 123-110 loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Share and comment