SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – As the series shifts to Utah, the Jazz are looking to make some rotations of their own.
The Jazz failed to clamp down on defense in Game 2, allowing far too many open three-pointers, and the Dallas Mavericks took advantage.
Led by Jalen Brunson’s career-high 41 points, and Max Kleber’s 25 points, the Mavs drained a playoff-record 22 3s on 47 attempts, which surprised Donovan Mitchell.
“We gave up a lot of threes, especially to Kleber,” Mitchell Like I said, man they had 47 threes? Damn,” Mitchell said looking down at the scoresheet. “I didn’t know that. But there you go, the story of the game.”
“You don’t hang your head when you play against a team that played very well tonight and the game goes down to the wire,” head coach Quin Snyder said about the 110-104 loss. “There’s a difference between overreacting and responding, and we need to respond.”
Just like the L.A. Clippers did in last year’s playoffs, the Mavs played small ball with all five players spread around the perimeter. The Jazz rotations were a bit slow, as the Mavs drained 17 uncontested threes. Kleber was 8 of 11 from beyond the arc, while Brunson made 6 of 10.
But the Jazz don’t think this will be a replica of last year when the Clippers won four straight games. Mainly because they’re healthy now.
“I don’t think anyone is looking at it as it’s last year all over again,” Mitchell said. “Because we can go back and fix that. We can go ahead and stand our ground, shift and help each other as a team. So I don’t look at it as, oh man here we go again, same thing as last year.”
“With a spaced floor like that, Brunson got it going how he was getting it,” Jordan Clarkson said about Brunson, who made 15 of 25 shots. “I think we just have to rotate, communicate, contest those shots from Kleber and those guys in the corner.”
“Those shots are easier when you know you’re going to get them,” said Rudy Gobert. “When you just stand in the corner, it’s like a practice shot.”
The Mavs are optimistic that Luka Doncic can return in either Game 3 or 4 in Salt Lake City. But The Jazz still like the position they’re in coming home.
“It’s 1-1,” Snyder said. “We’re going back home, and we have some things that we can look at and adjust to.”
“They made adjustments, we’re going back to Utah and we’re going to make our adjustments,” said Clarkson, who had 21 points. “We’ve got two games at home, and that’s what it is.”
“We tried to go out there and take both,” Mitchell said. “It didn’t happen, but I’m not going to overreact. We’re going to go home and we’ve got to take care of business, simple as that.”
Game 3 is set for Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.