UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Forward Royce O’Neale Fakes Pass Before Hitting Easy Layup Against Mavs

Apr 23, 2022, 3:36 PM
Royce O'Neale - Utah Jazz - Dallas Mavericks...
Royce O'Neale #23 of the Utah Jazz reacts after scoring against the Dallas Mavericks in the fourth quarter of Game One of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on April 16, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz forward Royce O’Neale faked a pass to create a wide-open look at the basket during Utah’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.

The Jazz hosted the Mavericks at Vivint Arena for Game 4 of the series on Saturday, April 23.

With 4:51 left in the second quarter, O’Neale had the ball in the middle of the paint with few options. He decided to fake a pass to the far corner and the move caused a pair of Mavericks to leap into the air past O’Neale.

The forward’s crafty move created an open look at the hoop for an easy layup.

O’Neale’s layup gave the Jazz a 40-30 lead.

After the shot, the forward from Baylor had two points on 1-2 field goals. He added four rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes on the hardwood.

During the regular season, O’Neale averaged 7.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. In the playoffs, O’Neale has averaged 5.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.

Mavericks vs. Jazz

Luka Doncic will be available for the Mavericks when they face the Jazz in Game 4 of their opening-round playoff series.

Doncic has missed the first three games of the series with a calf strain suffered on April 10 but will be back in action in a crucial Game 4 matchup.

After dropping Game 1 at home, the Mavericks bounced back with impressive wins over the Jazz without Doncic or forward Tim Hardaway Jr. behind the brilliance of Jalen Brunson to take a 2-1 series lead.

Brunson is averaging 36 points per game over the last two outings while shooting 57 percent from the floor, 43 percent from the three-point line, while handing out 10 assists, and committing just one turnover.

The Mavericks are shooting 45 percent from the three-point line in their last two games on an impressive 44.5 attempts per game.

Doncic was the NBA’s third-leading scorer at 28.4 points per game during the regular season and the fifth-leading assist man at 8.7 assists per game.

The superstar guard led the Mavericks in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and usage during the regular season.

Kidd didn’t elaborate on how many minutes Doncic would play but indicated the team would monitor how the guard looked in his early minutes before assessing his availability for the remainder of the game.

Prior to the game, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Donic would be on a minutes restriction in Game 4.

“The plan is that his minutes will be limited in his first game back since suffering a calf strain on April 10,” Wojnarowski tweeted.

The Mavericks could use the added depth on the perimeter as both Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock are averaging more than 44 minutes per game in the playoffs, leading the entire league.

Utah’s game against Dallas is broadcast on TNT, AT&T SportsNet, The Zone Sports Network, and KSL NewsRadio.

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