Jazz Await Winner Of Clippers And Mavericks
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz became the first Western Conference team to advance out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs, knocking off the Memphis Grizzlies 4-1. Now, the Jazz await the winner of the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers to see who they’ll face in the second round.
As the Jazz were in the process of eliminating the Grizzlies, the Mavericks and Clippers were battling to see who would take the upper hand in a chaotic, seesawing series.
Dallas won the first two games of the series in Los Angeles and appeared to be headed some to complete the sweep. However, the Clippers flipped the series on its head by winning two games in Dallas and returning to LA looking like they’d solved the Mavericks attack.
But, keeping true to the series, the Mavericks won on the Clippers’ home floor, as neither team has won on their home court through the first five games of the series, and now head back to Dallas with a chance to close out the series on Friday.
How Jazz Fared Against Clippers And Mavericks
The Jazz won their season series’ over both the Clippers and the Mavericks this year, beat each team in two out of three matchups.
However, with the season marred by a condensed schedule, strange back-t0-back sets of games, and a significant number of injuries and players resting periodically throughout the year, regular season results may not paint an accurate picture of how these teams matched up.
Jazz Vs. Clippers
The Jazz’s first matchup with the Clippers came on January 1 in Salt Lake City on the second night of back-to-back games after losing to the Phoenix Suns on New Year’s Eve.
After the Jazz jumped out to a 20 point lead in the third quarter, the Clippers trimmed their deficit to just one late in the fourth quarter, but the Jazz held on to a 106-100 victory thanks to an enormous 33 point outing from guard Mike Conley.
On February 17, the Jazz crushed a depleted Clippers roster 114-96 that was playing without Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Nicolas Batum. The Jazz were without Conley in the victory but locked up the series with their second win of the season.
Just two days later, the Jazz suffered their lone loss of the season to the Clippers, falling 116-112 as Leonard, George, Batum, and Conley each returned to their rosters.
Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points for the Jazz, but the team couldn’t erase the Clippers 13 point fourth-quarter lead despite trimming the deficit to just two points in the final minute of the game.
Jazz vs. Mavericks
Similar to their season series with the Clippers, the matchup against the Mavericks included one set of back-to-back games, significant injuries, and the Jazz winning the first two meetings.
On January 27, Dallas traveled to Utah to face the Jazz who were playing without Mitchell. The All-Star suffered a concussion two nights earlier against the New York Knicks and would miss both games of the back-to-back series.
In Mitchell’s absence, Rudy Gobert scored 29 points and grabbed 20 rebounds while Jordan Clarkson scored 31 points off the bench to lead the Jazz to victory.
Two nights later, Bojan Bogdanovic carried the scoring load for the Jazz, providing 32 points on 10-16 shooting to beat the Mavericks 120-101.
Dallas would exact its revenge in the two teams’ final meeting of the season, which also proved to be the healthiest matchup.
In Mitchell’s only meeting with the Mavericks this season, the guard scored just 16 points on 23 shots, while combining with Royce O’Neale to shoot 0-16 from the three-point line, as the Jazz had one of their worst shooting performances of the season.
As a group, the Jazz shot just 27 percent from beyond the arc, as Luka Doncic scored 31 points to lead Dallas who was playing without Kristaps Porzingis.
Regardless of their opponent, the Jazz do have the advantage of beginning round two of the playoffs at home where they went undefeated against both the Clippers and Mavericks this season.
With Mike Conley’s yet to be updated status after feeling tightness in his right hamstring, the more days off the Jazz have before opening the second round could be beneficial for returning to full health.
The guard said he felt a tug in his right hamstring late in the first quarter in game five against the Grizzlies and missed the remainder of the game after testing the injury early in the second quarter.
Game six between the Mavericks and Clippers will tip-off at 7 pm MT on ESPN. Game seven if necessary will be played in Los Angeles on Sunday at 1:30 pm.
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