Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks Game 5 playoff win over Jazz: 3. Defense
Head coach Jason Kidd transformed the Mavericks from a middle-of-the-pack defensive team to the seventh-best in defensive rating during the regular season. Dallas committed to improving and it paid dividends in the crucial Game 5 as they held the Jazz to fewer than 20 points in each of the first three quarters.
It was the second straight game where the Jazz struggled from the floor, but they won Game 4 by getting to the line 42 times. Utah did not get whistles on Monday night as they struggled to find their offensive footing.
The Jazz had just two players score in double-figures as they finished with 77 as a team in Game 5. Donovan Mitchell was four of 15 from the field, including missing all seven of his 3-point attempts. Mike Conley scored four, and Bojan Bogdanovic had two. Jordan Clarkson got going with 20 off the bench, but the Jazz little else at the American Airlines Center.
The Dallas Mavericks' defense was incredible in Game 5, and it helped the team secure a comfortable win and puts them on the doorstep of advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2011.