Luka Doncic leads Mavericks past Jazz, 113-97, into 6th place in West

DALLAS — Luka Doncic had 34 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 113-97 on Thursday night to move into the sixth and final guaranteed playoff position in the Western Conference.

Dallas improved to 41-29 with its third straight victory and seventh in eight games. The Mavericks moved a half-game ahead of Sacramento and Phoenix, which faced Atlanta at home Thursday in a late game. Sacramento lost at Washington earlier Thursday.

Doncic didn’t have a rebound or an assist in the fourth quarter, playing four minutes. He shot 11 of 23 from the floor, 4 of 10 on 3s.

Daniel Gafford added 24 points, his high game since being acquired in early February. Gafford missed the second half of the second quarter after crumpling to the court and being helped to the locker room, then returned to start the second half.

Kyrie Irving scored 16 points, 11 in the second half.

The Jazz were swept in a road back-to-back, losing at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, and have lost four consecutive games and 15 of 18. They’re eight games out of play-in qualification with 12 games left.

Lauri Markkanen led Utah with 21 points after missing the previous seven games because of a quadriceps injury. Collin Sexton added 20 off the bench.

Dallas led by 19 points after trailing by seven 2 1/2 minutes in.

The Mavericks outscored the Jazz 23-7 in fast-break points, while Utah shot 4 of 30 from behind the arc.

Doncic came off what Dallas coach Jason Kidd called a “human game” in which the sixth-year superstar had his 18th triple-double this season but hit only 6 of 27 field-goal attempts in scoring 18 points for his lowest total since mid-November.

The Jazz were missing Jordan Clarkson, their No. 3 scorer. He sat out his fifth straight game because of a groin injury. The Mavericks played without Josh Green, who missed his third consecutive game because of a sprained right ankle.


Jazz: At Houston on Saturday night.

Mavericks: At Utah on Monday night to begin a five-game road trip.



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