Doncic Leads Mavs to Pivotal 113-97 Victory Over Jazz

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, NBA News
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic‘s standout performance propelled the Dallas Mavericks to a critical 113-97 win over the Utah Jazz during Thursday’s NBA action, securing the sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference. With 34 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, Doncic shined, pushing the Mavericks ahead in their playoff race.

Dallas celebrated its third consecutive win and seventh in the last eight games. It tied with the Phoenix Suns in the standings but held the tiebreaker advantage. The victory placed them just a half-game ahead of the Sacramento Kings.

Doncic, who has an impressive 18 triple-doubles this season, played a pivotal role despite not adding to his rebound or assist totals in the fourth quarter. His shooting prowess was on full display, converting 11 of 23 shots from the floor and 4 of 10 from beyond the arc.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz Updates

Daniel Gafford, a recent addition to the Mavericks, contributed significantly with 24 points, marking his highest-scoring game since joining the team. His remarkable efficiency has led the NBA with a 70.8% shooting rate.

“He has great hands,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said about Gafford. “His ability to finish in traffic is something we haven’t had.”

Despite suffering an injury scare in the second quarter, Gafford returned to make a strong impact in the second half. Kyrie Irving also played a key role, scoring 16 points, 11 of which came in the second half.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz Updates

The Mavericks showcased their teamwork with 33 assists, approaching their season-high set during a previous victory over the Jazz.

“Guys are being very unselfish, and it’s really fun to watch and be a part of,” Kidd commented on the team’s cohesion and performance.

On the other hand, the Jazz faced their fourth consecutive loss and have now dropped 15 of their last 18 games, significantly diminishing their play-in chances. Lauri Markkanen led Utah with 21 points, returning from an injury that sidelined him for seven games. Collin Sexton continued his scoring streak, contributing 20 points from the bench.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz Updates

The Mavericks managed to turn around an early deficit, leading by 19 points and dominating the second quarter to establish a commanding lead by halftime.

“It was a really tough night shooting the ball,” Jazz coach Will Hardy admitted, attributing part of the loss to the team’s shooting struggles, especially from the three-point line.

As both teams look ahead to their next matchups, the Mavericks are set to face the Jazz again on a five-game road trip, while Utah hopes to rebound against Houston.

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