MAVERICKS (8-10) AT UTAH JAZZ (14-4)
Time: 9 p.m., Friday
Place: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City
TV: FSSW, ESPN
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: Thanks to Wednesday’s 116-104 loss to the Jazz in Utah, the Mavs have now lost three straight games. Luka Doncic had 30 points and six assists in that contest, Tim Hardaway Jr. poured in 19 points, Kristaps Porzingis contributed 18 points, five rebounds and two blocks, and James Johnson added eight points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three assists. . .Coach Rick Carlisle always talks about the importance of the first quarter of games. The Jazz won the first quarter of Wednesday’s game, 32-19. The Mavs won the last three quarters, 85-84. . .This is the first leg of a back-to-back for Dallas. The Mavs, who host the Phoenix Suns on Saturday at 8 p.m., are 1-2 on the front end of a back-to-back. . .No NBA team has played more road games than the 12 the Mavs have played. (The New York Knicks also have played 12 road games). The Mavs are 6-6 on the road. . .Unfortunately for the Mavs, they still haven’t had their full compliment of players for one game at any time this season. Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson was back in the starting lineup against Utah after missing nine games because of the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Dwight Powell also returned against the Jazz after being sidelined the previous eight games due to the league’s health and safety protocols. . .Forward Maxi Kleber remains in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but Carlisle said he could return in time for the game against the Suns. . .Doncic is averaging 27.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg and 9.7 apg, and also leads the NBA with six triple-doubles. Porzingis averages 19.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg and 1.8 bpg. Also, Hardaway (17.6 ppg), Richardson (12.9 ppg), Jalen Brunson (11.7 ppg, 51.8 percent, 41.7 percent on 3-pointers) and Trey Burke (11 ppg, 42.7 percent of 3-pointers) have been huge for the Mavs. . .Hardaway needs just two made 3-pointers to accumulate 1,000 for his career.
About the Jazz: The hottest team in the NBA are the Utah Jazz, who are riding a 10-game winning streak. That includes five wins against Western Conference teams and five wins against Eastern Conference teams. The winning streak is the longest by any team in the NBA this season. . .The Jazz now own the league’s best record. . .The last time the Jazz lost a game was on Jan. 6 – a 112-100 road loss to the New York Knicks. The Jazz returned the favor by rallying from a 15-point deficit in the first half to upend the Knicks in Utah, 108-94, this past Tuesday behind a career-high 20 points from Royce O’Neale and 18 points, 19 rebounds and four blocks from Rudy Gobert. . .On the very next night, Gobert produced season highs of 29 points and 20 rebounds – he also collected three blocks and three steals – in that 116-104 Jazz victory over the Mavs. That’s the most points Gobert has scored since he tallied 35 points during a 108-101 triumph against the Knicks on Mar. 22, 2017. . .Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to lead the Jazz against the Mavs with a season-high 31 points, and Joe Ingles pitched in with a season-high 21 points and eight assists. . .Donovan Mitchell sat out Wednesday’s game against the Mavs while in the concussion protocol and is questionable for tonight’s game. Mitchell, who is averaging 23.4 ppg and shooting 39.5 percent from 3-point range, suffered the injury during Tuesday’s victory over the Knicks. . .The Jazz have made at least 15 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in each of their last eight games. That includes going 16-of-41 from downtown during Wednesday’s win over the Mavs. . .Clarkson is averaging 17.9 ppg and shooting 47.8 percent from the field – all off the bench. Also for the Jazz, Mike Conley averages 16.6 ppg and 5.9 apg, and Gobert is averaging 13.4 ppg, 14.2 rpg and 2.8 blocks. . .The Jazz also depend heavily on Bojan Bogdanovic (12.9 ppg) and Ingles (10.9 ppg).
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