Royce O’Neale Drills Clutch Three In Final Minute Of Game 1
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale knocked down a three-pointer in the final minute of Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks had all the momentum, trailing 92-91 with 57 seconds left in the game before Royce O’Neale drilled a corner three-pointer to give the Jazz a 95-91 lead.
That was the first bucket of the game for O’Neale, who missed his first four shots from the field, including two three-pointers.
Clutch 🪣 from Royce.#TakeNote pic.twitter.com/7ez7SR0nh1
— Matthew L Glade (@matthewLksl) April 16, 2022
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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