Taking a glance at the first half box score, you’d think that Dallas was on the second night of a road back-to-back.
After winning at the buzzer last night in Houston, the Jazz strolled through the American Airlines Center and handled the Mavericks, despite a run late in the fourth for Dallas.
It was truly a roller coaster game for the Mavericks while it was clear from the jump that Utah was clicking on all cylinders, from their starters to their bench unit.
Dallas made a run in the third, cutting Utah’s 21-point halftime lead to just four but the Jazz quickly answered at the end of the third period and fought off the Mavs attempted late-fourth attempt to steal the game.
Bottom line, the Mavericks’ slow start settled their fate and Carlisle would agree.
“It was a very, very poor performance in the first half. The defense was terrible…the biggest symptoms to our problems at home is our starts to games,” Carlisle said of tonight’s game.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way with 33 points on 12/18 shooting. KP followed suit with 28 of his own and 15 off the bench for Seth Curry.
The Jazz had three 20-point scorers (Mitchell, Bogdanovic, Clarkson) as well as 17 points and 16 rebounds for Rudy Gobert, who helped give the Jazz a 45-26 advantage on the glass.
THJ sure does always seem to play his best basketball when his father, Tim Hardaway Sr., is in the stands as he was tonight but his performance alone couldn’t get Dallas over the hump.
“It’s embarrassing and we all know that,” Hardaway Jr. said of the Mavericks play at home. “We have to take the fight to our opponent and try to get the crowd involved as much as possible at the beginning of the game.”
What has been evident for the Mavericks for some time now, especially tonight, is that they need this All-Star break.
With Luka still working back from his ankle sprain as well as Jalen Brunson and Delon Wright going down tonight, the Mavericks need the rest more than ever.
Though Luka will be busy in Chicago this weekend and whether he plays Wednesday or not, he should be ready to go full speed come post-break to help clinch a playoff berth for the Mavericks.
The need for the break can’t be denied, even though Tim Hardaway Jr. downplayed the team looking ahead to the All-Star break.
“I’m not worried about no All-Star break right now. I’m worried about Sacramento,” Hardaway Jr. said. “Let’s not lure into the All-Star break. It’s our job to go out there and compete every given night.”
Got to love that coming from a strong voice in the locker room.
The Mavericks close out the first half of the season at home on Wednesday against the Kings.
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