UTAH JAZZ

Utah Jazz Race By Mavericks In First Quarter Clinic

Jan 1, 2024, 7:39 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - DECEMBER 30: Jordan Clarkson #00 of the Utah Jazz drives into Haywood Highsmith #24 of the Miami Heat during the first half of a game at Delta Center on December 30, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY – The wizardry of Jordan Clarkson never ceases to amaze and second-year Jazz center Walker Kessler has been the benefactor against Dallas early.

The Jazz (14-19) are hosting Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks (19-14) at Delta Center in a New Year’s Day slugfest.

RELATED: Fontecchio Jumps Out To Fast Start Against Mavericks

Clarkson had six first-quarter points but it was a pair of alley oop passes to Kessler that got the Delta Center crowd bubbling on New Year’s Day.

The Jazz made 5-of-12 threes in the quarter while shooting 60 percent from the field. Simone Fontecchio’s 14 points led Utah.

Utah closed the quarter on a 21-9 run to lead 37-26 after 12 minutes of play.

Fast-Paced Mavs Get Healthy In Salt Lake

The Mavericks hope to put a recent slump behind them when they take on the Delta Center tenants. Dallas has lost six of ten, including a 3-4 mark on the road in recent weeks.

The Mavs offensive rating is 118.6 (seventh) while their defensive rating of 117.2 is 22nd out of 30 NBA teams.

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Fifth-year guard Luka Dončić is second in the league, scoring 33.9 points per game. The all-world Dončić also grabs 8.4 rebounds and hands out 9.3 assists per night. Kyrie Irving, in his first full season with Dallas, is averaging 23 points and 5.2 assists per game. The eight-time all-star has been limited to 17 games played this year.

Former Utah Jazz No. 5 overall pick Dante Exum is scoring 9.5 points per game in 29 appearances this season.

Follow The Utah Jazz With KSL Sports

The Jazz are facing the Dallas Mavericks at Delta Center. The game is being broadcast on KJZZ, Jazz+NBA League PassKSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM), KSLSports.com, and the KSL Sports app.

Find KSL Sports coverage of the Utah Jazz here.

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s coverage of the Bees, Big League Utah, and Aggie athletics here.

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