Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 118-68 win over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center:

1. BELIEVE WHAT YOU SAW: Where do we start? This was one of those once in a lifetime games for the Mavs, because it’s not often you beat a team by 50 points. In fact, it’s only happened three times for the Mavs since they started dribbling a basketball in 1980. I know a one-point win counts the same as a 50-point win. However, there was something completely different about this victory. Utah is considered by many as one of the top teams in the Western Conference, and certainly one of the top defensive teams in the entire NBA. But the Mavs dominating in all phases and handing the Jazz their worst loss since they left New Orleans and moved to Utah in 1979. The Mavs held the Jazz to just 22 points in the second half, which is franchise low for a Mavs opponent in any half.

2. FOUR UNFORGETTABLE PLAYS: There were many unforgettable plays on this night, but let’s point out a few. There was that are-you-kidding-me 30-foot bomb rookie Luka Doncic dropped just before halftime that gave the Mavs a 58-46 lead. There was Dorian Finney-Smith flying over Grayson Allen and slamming home a vicious putback dunk at the end of the third quarter that brought down the house. There was J. J. Barea unfortunately flying into the expensive courtside seats after he was pushed by Derrick Favors, who received a Flagrant foul on the play. And between the third and fourth quarters, there was Sergeant Leroy Davis of the Texas National Guard in Grand Prairie winning 50,000 American Airlines miles after he flew down the lane and threw down a dunk – all while wearing his heavy gear and boots.

3. DEFENSE KEEPS SHINING: For the third straight game the Mavs proceeded to roll up their sleeves and hold an opponent under 100 points. The Mavs did it to the Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday (96), they did it to the Chicago Bulls last Monday (98), and now they’ve done it to the Utah Jazz (68). Players are locking in on their defensive assignments, they’re playing help defense, they’re talking on defense and the results have been absolutely phenomenal. With two new players in the starting lineup in DeAndre Jordan and Luka Doncic – and with Harrison Barnes missing the first four games – it took a while for the Mavs to develop some defensive chemistry. The Mavs are hoping this defensive mindset is not an aberration and will instead continue to be a trend in this scoring-happy NBA.

4. THE BENCH WINS AGAIN: In their everlasting quest to become known as the best bench in the NBA, the Mavs reserves keep proving that they may indeed have the league’s best bench. Against Utah, the Mavs bench warmers outscored their Jazz bench warmers, 66-21. The Mavs reserves were 25-of-36 from the field for a whopping 69.4 percent and grabbed 25 rebounds, while Utah’s reserves were 8-of-40 from the field for 20 percent and grabbed 10 rebounds. For more statistical purposes, the Mavs had three players come off the bench and score as many or more points than any player on Utah’s entire team. J. J. Barea finished with 14 points off the bench, Dwight Powell came off the pine and tallied 13 and Dorian Finney-Smith had 11 points off the bench. Ricky Rubio topped ALL Jazz players with 11 points.

5. WINNING STREAK AMONG THE BEST: The Mavs came out of this lopsided victory over the Jazz armed with a ton of confidence and also armed with a three-game winning streak. It’s the Mavs’ longest winning streak since they won four in a row last season from Dec. 26-31 in victories at home over Toronto (98-93), and on the road against Indiana (98-94), New Orleans (128-120) and Oklahoma City (116-113). That winning streak was snapped in Dallas by the world champion Golden State Warriors, 125-122, when Stephen Curry drilled a 3-pointer with three seconds left. Ironically, the Mavs host the Warriors on Saturday, but Curry won’t play due to a groin injury. Meanwhile, as of now the only team playing better basketball in the NBA than the Mavs are LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won their last four games.

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