The Utah Jazz trailed by as many as 13 points to the Dallas Mavericks, before a fourth quarter rally led by their star players helped them to pull off an unlikely win.
Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Bojan Bogdanovic all came up with clutch plays down the stretch, as Dallas failed to pull off an impressive road win against the red-hot Jazz.
After an entertaining game between two expected contenders in the Western Conference, here are some notes from a big night in Salt Lake City.
The Stifle Tower delivers
Rudy Gobert hopes to be named an All-Star for the first time later this week when the reserves are announced.
Pulling off game-winning plays on the defensive end like he did against the Mavericks certainly won't hurt his case.
Gobert was caught trying to close out on Mavericks guard, Delon Wright, who had the ball at the top with Utah clinging to a 109-107 lead with under 30 seconds remaining.
Wright blew by Gobert and drove down a wide open lane, only for Gobert to miraculously recover and deliver an emphatic block off the backboard, helping the Jazz hold on to their slender lead from that point onwards.
FEAST YOUR EYES and #TakeNote pic.twitter.com/vAParJKzJp- Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 26, 2020
Earlier, Gobert tipped in a Mitchell missed lay-up, giving the Jazz the lead at 106-104 with 62 seconds remaining.
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year delivered in a big way down the stretch for the Jazz, and they needed every bit of it.
Jazz duo shake off struggles in crunch time
It would be easy to look at the box score from this game and assume Mitchell and Bogdanovic had poor outings for the Jazz against Dallas.
Mitchell finished with 25 points on 9-for-25 shooting, while Bogdanovic had 23 points on 6-for-16 from the floor.
Spida ties it!#TakeNote pic.twitter.com/NQIMRLjIU7- Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 26, 2020
In the fourth quarter, the tide turned for the duo, with Mitchell pouring in 11 points on 3-for-7 shooting, including two clutch free-throws with 22 seconds left to extend the Jazz' lead to 111-107.
Bogdanovic, on the other hand, had eight points on 3-for-4 shooting.
For the Jazz's two leading scorers, it was certainly a case of better late than never in this one.
Luka's three-point woes
It's incredibly hard to criticize any aspect of Luka Doncic's game through the first half of the regular season, although, if there was to be one point to nitpick, it's definitely his 3-point shooting.
Coming into tonight, Doncic was averaging 9.2 3-point attempts per game, while only connecting on 32.2 percent of those.
Against Dallas, those season averages were made to look even better, when he struggled to finish just 2-for-10 from beyond the arc.
In the final period, he only managed to get three shot attempts, missing his two long range shots while knocking down a floater.
It was a rare rough night for Doncic, though, despite the fact he struggled with his shot, he still finished with 25 points, six rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Even a bad night for Luka is better than most.
Porzingis' confident dunk
Kristaps Porzingis has dealt with his fair share of criticism in his return from an ACL tear, and tonight we witnessed a player growing in confidence.
The 15 points on 6-for-14 shooting was ok, but the scoring as a whole was not the impressive part, the impressive part was one play in particular.
Just after halftime, Porzingis received the ball at the top with Gobert guarding him on the perimeter.
KP THROWS IT DOWN!@kporzee | #MFFL- Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 25, 2020
📺: https://t.co/9WtNBok2tx pic.twitter.com/b67uDC7J4R
The 24-year-old easily could have jacked up a long range shot but instead, put the ball on the floor and drove left on one of the best defensive players in the game and threw down an impressive dunk on the Jazz big man.
It was a sharp reminder of the explosiveness and athleticism of Porzingis, as it also showed incredible confidence, given that ACL tear occurred on a similar play when he threw down a dunk on Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Sometimes, you just need a little bit of patience.
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