UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Play Better, But Drop Sixth Straight To Mavericks

Mar 25, 2024, 10:26 PM | Updated: Mar 26, 2024, 10:14 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz dropped their sixth straight game after falling to the Dallas Mavericks 115-105.

Lauri Markkanen scored 34 points to lead the Jazz, his third-highest point total of the season, and the most since his 38-point outing against the Phoenix Suns on November 19.

Luka Doncic recorded his second triple-double of the season when facing the Jazz scoring 29 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and dishing out 13 assists.

Related: Recapping The Jazz’s Loss To The Mavericks

The Jazz and Mavericks were tied at 88 heading into the final period, but Dallas held Markkanen to just one point on one field goal attempt in the fourth quarter as they steadily pulled away to secure their eighth win in their last nine games.

With the loss the Jazz fell to 29-43 on the season.

Can Jazz Recapture Fun While Losing?

Despite Monday’s more competitive loss, there’s nothing fun about the Jazz’s recent 3-17 stretch.

And, the team isn’t just losing games, they’re regularly getting blown out before the final buzzer.

Of their 17 losses since the trade deadline, 12 have come by double-digits, with eight coming by 15 or more.

But for young players needing to maximize their growth over the final 10 games of the season, keeping the game fun is an important part of the equation.

“We need to find elements of joy every day for sure,” Hady said. “It’s my job to give them perspective, I think a big part of that is not listening to the outside noise.”

If you’re a Jazz fan on the internet, you’ve undoubtedly seen, or felt a downturn in enthusiasm about the organization during the team’s recent losing stretch.

And that negativity can be hard to keep out of the locker room.

“There are a lot of emotional overreactions that happen in the media, social media, [and] the fans when we lose,” Hardy acknowledged. “It’s my job to try to help the players navigate that and help them recognize what parts they can control.”

That’s a particularly difficult task when the team is averaging one win every two weeks since February 8.

“We have to walk a line of not making it a beat down and helping them find some joy every day,” Hardy said, “because there is a lot of noise.”

Though the Jazz aren’t actively playing their best rotation each night to maximize their win probability, a few more close games like their loss to the Mavericks could help the team improve for future seasons.

“There’s no moral victories, we’re playing to win,” Markkanen said. “But, that’s what we’re here for is to play close games, and that’s how you get the experience to learn how to win.”

Utah Jazz Standings Watch After Mavericks Loss

With the Jazz’s loss to the Mavericks, teamed with the Atlanta Hawks come from behind victory over the Boston Celtics, the two teams are now separated by 3.5 games heading into the final 10 games of the season.

Outside of the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, every team the Jazz face the rest of the season is in a battle for playoff seeding.

Houston and Golden State are fighting to make the play-in, Sacramento is hoping to avoid the play-in tournament, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Cleveland Cavaliers are trying to hold onto home-court advantage, while Denver is fighting for the top seed in the West.

Related: What Happens If Jazz Win The Draft Lottery?

With Atlanta facing the Portland Trail Blazers, the Detroit Pistons, and the Charlotte Hornets in their final 11 games, there’s almost no scenario where the Jazz overtake them in the league standings in the final two and a half weeks of the season.

That means that at worst, the Jazz will enter the offseason with the ninth-best odds of winning the draft lottery, and a roughly 97 percent chance of holding onto their first-round pick.

And, those odds could improve if the Jazz were overtaken in the standings by the Brooklyn Nets.

Brooklyn beat the Toronto Raptors on the road on Monday night, and now sit two games back of the Jazz in the win column.

According to Tankathon, Brooklyn has the fourth-easiest remaining schedule in the NBA, while the Jazz have the fifth-toughest.

Utah Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Spurs on Wednesday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.


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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jazz Play Better, But Drop Sixth Straight To Mavericks