Jazz rally past Mavericks 112-107, have won 14 of 15
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Once again, Rudy Gobert was there to clean up the mess.
On the final few possessions, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year made a tip-in, blocked a layup just before it hit the glass, got a key rebound and made a free throw.
In all, Gobert had 22 points, 17 rebounds and five blocks to propel the surging Utah Jazz to a 112-107 come-from-behind victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
“Obviously, we weren’t perfect but Rudy cleans up a lot of our mistakes," teammate Donovan Mitchell said. "He’s always there for us.”
Mitchell scored 25 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 23 for the Jazz, who have won 14 of their last 15 games.
Luka Doncic scored 25 points for the Mavericks, who have dropped two of three after winning four straight. Seth Curry added 19 points for Dallas. Doncic managed only two points in the final quarter.
“Any team is going to do anything possible to make it hard on (Luka) down the stretch. I’ll look at it. I’ve got to do a better job of getting him in better situations,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
Gobert’s three-point play — a dunk and a free throw — gave the Jazz their first lead since the first half at 96-95. The Mavericks responded with a 3 by Curry and two free throws from Delon Wright.
Gobert broke a 104-all tie with a tip-in, and after Tim Hardaway Jr. and Royce O’Neale exchanged 3-pointers, Gobert blocked what looked like an easy layup for Wright.
“It was impressive," Mitchell said. "I’m convinced he let guys lay it up at the beginning of the game so he could block it late.”
Mitchell made a pair of free throws, and then Gobert rebounded Doncic’s missed 3-pointer and was fouled. He made one of two free throws for the final margin. With a performance like that, the crowd had good reason for chanting Gobert's name.
“It was amazing … the energy was almost like a playoff atmosphere,” Gobert said. “But just winning is my number one thing.”
The Mavericks raced to a 32-19 lead behind Doncic’s playmaking and shooting. The Jazz later scored 12 consecutive points and took a brief 37-36 lead on Georges Niang’s 3-pointer.
Kristaps Porzingis scored 15 points and Hardaway and Wright each chipped in 11 for Dallas.
“I think we did a good job today, especially here where it’s tough to play. We had a lot of open shots down the stretch. We just didn’t hit them,” Doncic said.
MUST-SEE TV IN EUROPE
The early start (3 p.m. MST) gave NBA fans in Europe a chance to see a game with some of their favorite players without staying up all night.
Key Jazz players like Gobert and Bogdanovic, as well as Dallas stars such as Porzingis and Doncic, said they had a number of family and friends at home watching this one live.
“It’s great for the game. There are so many kids and adults who love the game of basketball in Europe and they didn’t need to start watching at 3 in the morning,” Gobert said.
Bogdanovic added: “Oh yeah, today was like a prime time game for Europe. I had lots of friends watching and it makes a big difference to have it more accessible.”
MAVS TRADE FOR CAULEY-STEIN
The Mavericks completed a trade to acquire 7-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein from Golden State for a second-round draft pick. Dallas needed help after center Dwight Powell tore his right Achilles tendon.
“Well, he’s going to give us depth. That’s one thing we desperately need with Powell being out,” Carlisle said before the game. “We’ll give him the crash course and try to simplify things for him initially.”
Mavericks: Dallas shot 3 for 13 from behind the arc in the fourth quarter. … Ryan Broekhoff (leg) missed another game, but Carlisle said he may be ready to play at Oklahoma City on Monday. ... Dallas was 7 for 13 on free throws — Doncic was 1 for 5 — and the Mavericks were outrebounded 54-44.
Jazz: G Emmanuel Mudiay missed the game due to a sore ankle. ... Gobert had one of his contact lenses knocked out when he caught an elbow in the second quarter. … Ashton Kutcher and a number of other celebrities attended the game as the Sundance Film Festival runs through Feb. 2 in Utah. ... Utah coach Quin Snyder successfully challenged a goaltending call on Gobert with 8:13 remaining.
Mavericks: At Oklahoma City on Monday night.
Jazz: Host Houston on Monday night.