UTAH JAZZ

Jazz End First Half On Big Run Against Mavericks In Game 1

Apr 16, 2022, 12:20 PM

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)...

Utah Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz were nearly down by double digits before ending the first half on a big run against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1.

With 3:34 remaining in the second quarter, the Mavericks had a 41-32 lead over the Jazz. Then Bojan Bogdanovic hit the first three-pointer of the game for the Jazz. Bogey followed that up with a layup to bring the Jazz within four points. Mike Conley nailed a midrange jumper. Rudy Gobert split a pair of free throws to get Utah within one point.

Bogdanovic gave the Jazz the lead with two free throws. Jalen Brunson hit a jumper to stop a 10-0 run. With 2.2 seconds left in the half, Bogdanovic knocked down a wide open triple to give the Jazz a 45-43 halftime lead.

They ended the first half on a 13-2 run. Bogdanovic had 20 points to lead the Jazz in the first 24 minutes of Game 1. Jordan Clarkson added 10 points off the bench. Conley chipped in six points, while Rudy Gobert was up to five points and 10 rebounds. Donovan Mitchell had two points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field.

Leading Dallas was Jalen Brunson with 12 points and Spencer Dinwiddie with 10 points.

Over the last two seasons, the Jazz have seen just how difficult it is to win in the playoffs without key players in their rotation.

Last season, the Jazz dealt with injuries to both members of their All-Star backcourt as Donovan Mitchell missed game one against the Memphis Grizzlies with a badly rolled ankle, and Mike Conley missed most of the Los Angeles Clippers series with a strained hamstring.

The Jazz beat the Grizzlies in five games (their lone loss coming without Mitchell) and fell to the Clippers in six games without Conley.

Two seasons ago, the Jazz fell in the first round of the playoffs against the Denver Nuggets without starting forward Bojan Bogdanovic who underwent wrist surgery during the league’s COVID-suspended season.

Only reserve guard Trent Forrest (foot sprain) and third-string center Udoka Azubuike (ankle surgery) are on the Jazz injury report ahead of Saturday’s game one.

It’s difficult to overstate how important Doncic has been to the Mavericks this season.

The superstar guard leads all Dallas roster players in points, rebounds, assists, steals, field goal attempts, and usage.

Doncic has the NBA’s all-time best scoring average in the playoffs at 33.5 points per game, though he’s yet to lead the Mavericks to a first-round series win in two postseasons.

Dallas is expected to rely heavily on the recently acquired Spencer Dinwiddie in Doncic’s absence. The veteran guard averaged 15.8 points, 3.9 assists, and 3.1 rebounds in 23 appearances since joining the Mavericks at the trade deadline.

The Mavericks are 18-5 since acquiring Dinwiddie but were just 8-9 when Doncic has missed games.

The game can be heard on KSL NewsRadio and The Zone Sports Network. The series opener is televised on ESPN, AT&T SportsNet, and FuboTV.

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Jazz End First Half On Big Run Against Mavericks In Game 1