Mavericks lose heartbreak to Jazz as Luka Doncic struggles to find his shot

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks scored 67 first-half points on Friday night in Salt Lake City, but the Utah Jazz stormed back over the final 24 minutes to pick up the 114-109 win. It took an incredible defensive performance from Rudy Gobert to stop Luka Doncic and the Mavs. The big man had 14 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocks on Feb. 25 against Dallas.

Luka struggled in his first game following his third straight All-Star appearance. The 22-year-old superstar finished with 23 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds, and one steal in 35 minutes of action, but he made just eight of his 24 field goal attempts as the Mavericks were outscored by 14 with Doncic on the floor.

The Jazz winning in Utah was massive as the Mavs had closed to within 1.5 games of fourth place. The win creates some breathing room and gives the Jazz the two to zero edge in the season series with two meetings to come in Dallas. The Mavericks wasted a strong performance on Feb. 25, and here is a closer look at why.

Dallas Mavericks lose heartbreaker to Utah Jazz despite three players scoring 20-plus

Dwight Powell had arguably his best game of the season on Friday night. The Jazz were selling out to stop Luka in the pick and rolls, which allowed Powell to feast at the rim. He finished with 22 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

The Mavs two new additions also stood out. Spencer Dinwiddie had 20 points on eight of 12 shooting in 26 minutes with Davis Bertans dropping 17, including five 3-pointers, in just 19 minutes.

Dallas scored just 42 second-half points and gave up 54 in the loss to the Utah Jazz. Maxi Kleber made just one of his six 3-point tries on Friday. One make could have swayed the game in the Mavericks' favor, but they just did not fall and the Dallas defense did not step up to save them.

The Dallas Mavericks are back in action on Sunday night as they travel to San Francisco to face the Golden State Warriors. It will be another key Western Conference showdown that fans will not want to miss, so be sure to tune in and enjoy.

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