UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
NBA

Mavericks-Jazz Preview

The Dallas Mavericks were humbled after showcasing an impressive offense through the season's first week.

They'll look to bounce back against a Utah Jazz team feeling confident after a dramatic victory.

Dallas seeks a 14th win in 17 tries against Utah - and second in nine days - on Friday night.

The visiting Mavericks (3-2) led the NBA with 111.8 points per game and 52.4 percent shooting through their first four contests, winning three straight since an opening night one-point loss in San Antonio. Dallas bounced back two nights later with a 120-102 home win over Utah last Thursday, shooting 55.3 percent.

The Mavericks were slowed in a 108-87 loss at Portland on Thursday, shooting 36.7 percent and going 5 of 23 from deep after a 14-of-25 performance in Monday's 118-113 win over Boston. They shot worse than 36.7 percent only twice all of last season.

Chandler Parsons and Dirk Nowitzki went a combined 11 for 30 against the Trail Blazers after starting the season 60 for 111.

Dallas was outscored 35-18 in the third quarter and is averaging a minus-12.8 scoring margin in that period for the season - easily the worst mark in the league. The Jazz are outscoring opponents by an average of 4.0 points in the third.

''We better figure it out pretty quick," Nowitzki said of the Mavericks' third-quarter woes. "Seems like we don't come out with any energy. That's really unfortunate, we have got to correct that. Teams are coming out in the second half determined to pick up the pressure and we have not responded.''

The Jazz (2-3) are looking to reach the .500 mark for the first time since finishing 43-39 in 2012-13 after Wednesday's 102-100 win over Cleveland. Gordon Hayward was mobbed by teammates after hitting a step-back jumper at the buzzer, giving Utah its second win in 11 fewer games than it needed last season.

"How can you not show emotion after a finish like that? For us to win the game after being in control the whole game and then see it slipping away, it was pretty special," Hayward said. "Just exhilaration."

Hayward was 7 of 12 for 21 points with seven assists - one more than the entire Cavaliers team. He's averaging 24.0 points while shooting 56.5 percent and 8 of 18 from 3-point range since scoring 16 and going 2 of 7 from beyond the arc against the Mavericks.

He is averaging 11.2 points on 40.8 percent shooting in his last five meetings with Dallas.

The Mavericks have outscored Utah by an average of 12.3 points while shooting 52.6 percent in winning the last six in the series.

The Jazz shot 50.6 percent from the floor Wednesday and had the Cavaliers to 41.7 percent shooting after allowing three of their first four opponents to shoot 50.6 percent or better.

"I think this team needs to keep building confidence," coach Quin Snyder said. "They need to feel that, they need to feel my confidence in them, so this goes a long way I think in that process."

Derrick Favors had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help Utah claim a 41-30 rebounding each. The Jazz are averaging a plus-12.3 edge in their last three games after being outrebounded 44-40 by Dallas.

Nowitzki is averaging 25.3 points on 60.0 percent shooting in his last nine games versus the Jazz, and made 21 of 25 shots (84.0 percent) in last season's two meetings in Utah.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More NBA

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.