Having won nine of their last ten games, the Jazz visit the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night. This is Dallas’ opportunity to earn their first win against Utah this season.
Thursday night, the Dallas Mavericks will host the Utah Jazz, as they try to rebound from their current three-game losing streak. Game time is at 8:30 p.m. ET.
When the teams met back on Feb. 24, rookie guard Donovan Mitchell led all scorers with 25 points in a 97-90 Utah victory. J.J. Barea was impressive for Dallas, putting together 17 points and 12 assists. A win tonight would give Utah the series sweep.
As the season nears its end, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves in an awkward position. Their 22-49 record implies that they will indeed be a lottery team this offseason. That record, however, does not speak to the amount of heart and fight this team has.
Interestingly enough, this game will have heavy playoff implications.
Although playoff hopes are out the window for Dallas, they are in prime position to play spoiler to a few playoff-hopeful opponents over the next few weeks. With four games separating the fourth-place Oklahoma City Thunder (43-30) and 10th-place Los Angeles Clippers (38-33), Utah (40-31) has little to no room for error.
After Tuesday’s 99-94 loss to Atlanta, another lottery team, Utah has shown that they are vulnerable on any given night. Atlanta held the Jazz to 18 percent shooting from behind the arc, well below their season average of 36 percent.
If the Mavericks can replicate that effort on defense and get balanced production on offense, they will stand a chance.
Dallas will likely play without starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr. After going out with a sprained ankle against Brooklyn Saturday night, he missed Tuesday’s 115-105 loss to New Orleans. In his stead, look for Barea to get the nod at point.
In their two wins, Jazz center Rudy Gobert is averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
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