For the second season in a row, the Mavericks are one win away from reaching the Western Conference semifinals for the first time in 11 years.

And, just like last year, they have two chances to get it done.

The Mavericks completely dismantled the Utah Jazz for a 102-77 blowout victory in Game 5 late Monday night at American Airlines Center.

Now up 3-2, they can close out the best-of-seven first round series with a win Thursday at Utah’s Vivant Arena.

Momentum certainly shouldn’t be a problem. And the memories of losing the last two games and the series to the Clippers last season shouldn’t be a problem, either.

“I don’t even remember that,” said Dorian Finney-Smith. “I don’t remember last year. We put ourselves in a great spot. We just got to handle business in Utah. They’re a great team up there. We showed we can win up there, so it’s up to us.

“I’m just happy we got some wins in AAC. Last year, we didn’t even get a win.”

Luka Dončić pummeled the Jazz with 33 points and 12 rebounds while Jalen Brunson continued his standout series with 24 points.

But it was the Mavericks’ defense that was the star of this night. The Jazz couldn’t make shots and a lot of it was because the Mavericks harassed them at every turn.

“We did a good job tonight as a team, holding a great offensive team to 77 points,” said Finney-Smith, who had 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. “If we do that, no matter if we make shots or not, we’re going to have a great chance to win.”

Utah made only three of 30 3-pointers, and shot only 37.7 percent for the game. The Mavericks were up 93-65 with 4:41 to go. It was a thorough domination defensively as they cuffed Donovan Mitchell (nine points) and kept the Jazz and Rudy Gobert in particular off the glass.

The Jazz scored 19 points or less in each of the first three quarters and only 22 in the fourth quarter that was primarily garbage time.

“We can’t bank on that for Game 6,” said Brunson. “Those were some pretty good numbers. Give the guys credit. They were ready to play defensively and make it difficult. But we can’t just rely on that. We got to continue to get better.

“They’re going to have guns blazing when they get back home.”

The Mavericks got a taste of that with 5:33 to go when Hassan Whiteside had a forceful takedown of Dončić, who was trying an ill-advised dunk attempt. Several Mavericks ran to support Luka as Whiteside stood over him. The scuffle didn’t cause any real harm, although Whiteside was ejected and so was Reggie Bullock, who had picked up a technical earlier in the game and got a second one in the skirmish.

It may have been a bit of frustration on the Jazz’s part, largely because of the way the Mavericks had manhandled them on the defensive end of the court.

It was to the point where you were hoping they could save some of this performance for Thursday in Game 6.

“We did our part,” coach Jason Kidd said. “We didn’t do anything special. We protected home. And we got to go back on the road and find a way to win.”

Getting performances like they did from Luka will help their cause. It was his night to shine. He had looked good in Game 4 in Utah, his first back after missing the first three games with a strained left calf muscle.

But he was much more fluid on Monday.

“Way better than the first game,” Doncic said. “The first game, I was a little janky. I use (that) word a lot. I was OK (Monday).”

When Dončić made his second 3-pointer in a row to put the Mavericks up 74-46 with 5:03 left in the third quarter, he gave a little shoulder shimmy and the crowd was going berserk.

“It’s amazing. Those kind of feelings, you can’t describe,” he said. “The whole arena is cheering for your team. It’s unbelievable. The fans were amazing today. They helped us get this win. If not for them, we maybe don’t win the game. Our guys were tired, and they pushed us up. I want to thank them.”

It was a game in which the Mavericks never trailed.

The winner of Game 5 historically has had a huge advantage in a best-of-seven series. The winner goes on to advance to the next series 82.2 percent of the time.

Of course, the Mavericks were in this same situation last year when they were up 3-2 against the Los Angeles Clippers. LA won Game 6 at AAC, then closed it out with a win at home in Game 7.

But the Mavericks are back there again, and that’s a credit to their focus on Monday night.

There were a couple of obvious points of emphasis for the Mavericks going into Game 5. First, keeping Gobert off the offensive boards was paramount. He had 10 of them in Game 4. He got only four in Game 5 and the Mavericks won the rebounding battle 49-40.

The other issue coming in was Spencer Dinwiddie’s shooting. He had gone chilly in the first four games, but the Mavericks liked the looks he was getting.

“We tell him every day to keep taking those same shots,” Kidd said. “It’s no different than Maxi (Kleber, struggling) during the regular season. Those are shots you’re going to get and we truly believe that these are good for you and for the team and that you’re going to make them.”

Dinwiddie got only two shots in the first half, but one of them was a 3-point crier that bounced high off the rim and through the net. He would end up making 2-of-5 3-pointers, which constituted a nice step in the right direction after some rough shooting nights.

Twitter: @ESefko

Share and comment

More Mavs News