Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) passes the ball as Utah Jazz ahead Royce O’Neale, again proper, and middle Rudy Gobert (27) defend through the first half of an NBA basketball sport Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Salt Lake Metropolis. (Rick Bowmer, Related Press)
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SALT LAKE CITY — Forward of Friday’s sport, each Dallas and Utah downplayed the significance of the matchup.
Jazz middle Rudy Gobert mentioned it was too early to take a look at the standings, and Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd mentioned it was merely “one in all 82.”
That was what they mentioned, however how they performed instructed a unique story.
Friday’s potential first-round matchup proved worthy of a playoff sport in its personal proper — an insanely well-played sport that featured a chess match hardly ever seen within the common season. There have been radically totally different methods deployed, massive performances and clutch pictures down the stretch.
Donovan Mitchell had 33 factors, Bojan Bogdanovic hit a large 3-pointer late within the sport and Rudy Gobert’s late protection on Luka Doncic was excellent because the Jazz returned from the All-Star break with a 119-114 victory over Dallas at Vivint Area.
The Jazz improved to 37-22 and now have a 2.5 sport lead on Dallas (35-25) for the fourth spot within the West.
Doncic had 23 factors and 11 assists for the Mavericks.
Within the fourth quarter, although, Doncic was comparatively held in verify by Gobert. The Mavericks hunted the matchup with Gobert and Doncic, however the three-time Defensive Participant of the Yr was as much as the duty, sticking with Doncic on the perimeter and on his drives, which constantly blew up Dallas possessions.
Gobert completed with 14 factors and 17 rebounds.
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