SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – It was a fitting ending to a disappointing Utah Jazz season.
Up by double digits at halftime, the Jazz once again could not hold the lead, and their season came to an end with a 98-96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 Thursday night.
Bojan Bogdanovic had an open three-pointer in the final seconds to win it, but the shot was off, and the Jazz season came to a disappointing end.
“Quin drew up a great play, Royce trusted me with the pass,” Bogdanovic said. “I was wide open. I’d take that shot 10 out of 10 times. I was wide open. There’s no excuse. I needed to hit that shot.”
Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson each scored 24 points as the Mavs won the series in six games to move on to the second round against Phoenix.
After Brunson hit a 3-pointer from the corner, Mike Conley was called for traveling with five seconds remaining, and Brunson made one of two free throws with 4.3 seconds to play.
The Jazz got an open look for Bogdanovic on the left wing, but he came up short and the Mavericks moved on to face top-seeded Phoenix in the second round.
After the game, the Jazz were devastated. Rudy Gobert was asked what it was like in the locker room.
“Silence,” he said. “It’s early. We had higher expectations.”
“Sitting here 20 or 30 minutes after the game, you’re not looking forward,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “You’re feeling the moment.”
For a team with championship hopes at the beginning of the year, for the season to end in the first round of the playoffs for the second time in three years is hard to take.
“There were times this season when the ball was rolled out that we didn’t show that we wanted to be a team with championship aspirations,” Mitchell said.
“Two years of hurt and losing,” said Jordan Clarkson. “We’ve gotta clear our minds of this.”
There is speculation that the Jazz will try to trade either Mitchell or Gobert during the off-season, but the Jazz aren’t thinking about its uncertain future just yet.
“When I came here 9 years ago, my goal was to win a championship here,” Gobert said. “Nothing has changed. But a lot of that is out of my control. We have a lot of talent. This year we faced more adversity. I feel like we could be so much better. You try to ask yourself why we can’t be consistent.”
“My mindset is to win,” Mitchell said. “Right now, I’m not really looking at that. I’ll think about it in a week. Right now I’m not thinking about that.”
Doncic also had nine rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals. Spencer Dinwiddie added 19 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 18.
Donovan Mitchell had 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for Utah, Bogdanovic finished with 19 points.
The Mavericks won in the first round for the first time since since winning the 2011 NBA championship.
Finney-Smith’s 3-pointer gave the Mavericks their largest lead at 88-80 before the Jazz scored eight straight — many coming off hustle plays as Utah played with desperation — culminating with a Mitchell-to-Gobert dunk.
The Mavericks found their range in the third quarter as they Jazz tried multiple defenses but somehow seemed to consistently leave someone alone behind the arc. Doncic had 10 points and Dallas made 8 of 12 from 3-point range to outscore Utah 36-19 in the third quarter.
Conley had eight assists by halftime but none in the second half. Utah outrebounded Dallas 48-37.
Dallas missed all 10 3-point attempts in the first quarter and the teams combined to start 1 for 17 from beyond the arc. The Mavericks only shot 11 free throws, a series low. Dallas again had single-digit turnovers, with just nine.