By MATTHEW COLES, Related Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Luke Doncic believes he can rating on anybody. To advance to the second spherical of the playoffs for the primary time, he needed to belief his teammates.
After earlier postseasons stuffed with particular person highlights, Doncic shared the ball and the Dallas Mavericks slipped previous the Utah Jazz.
“I like sharing the ball. In the event that they’re going to hit or blitz me, somebody goes to be open,” Doncic mentioned.
Doncic and Jalen Brunson every scored 24 factors and the Mavericks beat the Jazz 98-96 on Thursday evening in Sport 6 to wrap up the first-round collection.
“It was all about belief,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd mentioned. “Luka did an unbelievable job realizing they have been going to attempt to take the ball out of his fingers.”
After Brunson hit a 3-pointer from the nook, Mike Conley was known as for touring with 5 seconds remaining, and Brunson made considered one of two free throws with 4.3 seconds to play.
“Enjoying with Luka the previous couple years, I ought to count on the ball after I’m not anticipating it. The ball discovered me,” Brunson mentioned of his clutch 3-pointer.
The Jazz bought an open search for Bojan Bogdanovic on the left wing on the ultimate play, however he got here up quick and the Mavericks moved on to face top-seeded Phoenix within the second spherical.
“Bogey don’t miss a whole lot of these. My coronary heart stopped. It felt like that shot was 15 seconds within the air,” mentioned Doncic, who had 9 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals.
Spencer Dinwiddie added 19 factors, and Dorian Finney-Smith had a playoff profession excessive of 18 factors because the Mavericks lastly bought the “monkey off their again,” as Kidd put it.
The Mavericks received within the first spherical for the primary time since profitable the 2011 NBA championship.
“We’ve performed a whole lot of video games within the playoffs and nonetheless haven’t bought to the second spherical. However we really feel like we are able to do one thing nice this 12 months, so all of us anticipated to get this win,” Finney-Smith mentioned.
Donovan Mitchell had 23 factors, 9 assists and eight rebounds for Utah.
“I’m speechless,” Mitchell mentioned about failing to advance. “It’s on me. I put lots stress on myself, however I simply wasn’t who I wanted to be. I have to be higher.”
Bogdanovic completed with 19 factors, however couldn’t the make the shot that may have received it.
“Clearly, Bojan is as clutch a participant there may be. You see him hit massive shot after massive shot,” Utah coach Quin Snyder mentioned. “I believe all people within the locker room would need him to have that shot.”
Bogdanovic was crestfallen.
“There’s no excuse. I wanted to hit that shot to power Sport 7,” he mentioned.
Earlier within the fourth quarter, Finney-Smith’s 3-pointer gave the Mavericks their largest lead at 88-80 earlier than the Jazz scored eight straight — many coming off hustle performs as Utah performed with desperation — culminating with a Mitchell-to-Rudy Gobert dunk.
The Mavericks discovered their vary within the third quarter because the Jazz tried a number of defenses however in some way appeared to constantly depart somebody alone behind the arc. Doncic had 10 factors and Dallas made 8 of 12 from 3-point vary to outscore Utah 36-19 within the third quarter.
“For guys like me, that’s after I begin smiling,” Finney-Smith mentioned in regards to the ball motion to start out the second half. “That’s after we get our spot-up pictures. Luka causes a lot stress after which he finds guys.”
The Mavericks shot 56% (14 of 25) from 3-point vary after halftime, however a number of Dallas gamers credited their protection for the win.
Regardless of a top drawback and the truth that Utah had the NBA’s most-efficient offense within the common season, Dallas held the Jazz to simply 99 factors per recreation within the collection.
Eleven years in the past on the identical date, Kidd was on the Dallas workforce that beat the Portland Path Blazers and moved to the second spherical.
“You make me really feel previous. It was a very long time in the past we received in Portland, and I simply bear in mind lots of people didn’t suppose we have been going to get out of the primary spherical,” Kidd mentioned.
The previous level guard mentioned this Dallas workforce is a particular group, just like the 2011 champions.
“These guys aren’t very massive, however they discover a option to win and so they have enjoyable doing it,” Kidd mentioned.
Jalen Brunson averaged 27.8 factors within the collection and stored the Mavericks forward of the Jazz, together with a 41-point recreation in Sport 2, till Doncic returned from a calf damage.
“We bought all the things we might out of JB. To begin the collection with out Luka and have JB and Spencer carry us till he bought again after which make to change to play with Luka. He was actually massive for us,” Kidd mentioned.
Mavericks: Dallas missed all 10 3-point makes an attempt within the first quarter. “Our shoulders have been up by our ears we have been so tense,” Kidd mentioned. The groups mixed to start out 1 for 17 from past the arc. … The Mavericks shot 11 free throws, a collection low. … Dallas once more had single-digit turnovers, with 9.
Jazz: Conley had eight assists by halftime, however none within the second half. … Utah outrebounded Dallas 48-37. … Utah assistant coach Keyon Dooling was positioned on administrative depart on Wednesday after being added to a fraud case in regards to the league’s well being and welfare profit plan.
The Mavericks and Suns will open the second spherical Monday evening in Phoenix.
Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.