HARDAWAY WAS CLICKING: Nights like Monday are why the Mavs were delighted guard Tim Hardaway Jr. was included in that Jan. 31, 2019, blockbuster trade that also involved Kristaps Porzingis. Hardaway finished with a game-high 33 points on 12-of-18 shots, including 5-of-10 from beyond the 3-point arc. It’s the most points Hardaway has scored since being traded to the Mavs. The seven-year veteran tallied 10 of the Mavs’ first 12 points, and also eclipsed the 6,000-point scoring barrier for his career.

ANOTHER SOBERING HOME DEFEAT: The Mavs have now lost four of their last five home games, and are surprisingly just 14-14 overall at home this season. “We have to give the fans – our home crowd – something to cheer about,” Hardaway said. “Whatever we have to do to prepare as if we were on the road, we need to bring that to our home court. We know how loud this arena gets.” Of the 16 teams that would be in the playoffs if the postseason started today, the Mavs have the most losses at home.

LACK OF BOARD WORK: The Jazz played a wild game down to the very last second in Houston on Sunday. But that didn’t stop them from winning the board battle against the Mavs by a wide 45-26 margin. That includes a 10-4 edge in offensive rebounds, which led to Utah outscoring Dallas in second-chance points, 13-2. Jazz center Rudy Gobert grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, which were one less than the 17 boards the Mavs’ entire starting lineup collected. The Jazz also outscored the Mavs on points in the paint, 54-34.

CLARKSON TORE THROUGH TEXAS: The way he’s played his last three games in Texas, Jordan Clarkson may want to consider buying some real estate in the Lone Star State. The Jazz backup guard came off the bench to score a team-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shots. That came one night after Jordan tossed in a team-high 30 points on 12-of-19 shots during Utah’s 114-113 buzzer-beating victory in Houston on Sunday. Jordan also scored 20 points on 7-of-14 shots when Utah played in San Antonio on Jan. 29.

INSPIRING SECOND HALF BY MAVS: Whatever coach Rick Carlisle told his team at halftime, it obviously worked. Down by as many as 23 points in the first half, the Mavs went on a 24-9 run to cut their deficit to 83-80 with 4:41 remaining in the third quarter. It was a lot of grit and a lot of determination – and nine points apiece from Tim Hardaway Jr and Kristaps Porzingis – that fueled the comeback. The Mavs were still only down, 121-116, with 2:10 left in the game. But they missed their next four shots, and ultimately that slow start cost them the game.

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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