Sport

Jalen Brunson leads Mavericks past jazz

SALT LAKE CITY — Jalen Brunson scored 31 points while playing with an injured back, and the Dallas Mavericks — without the injured Luka Doncic — defeated the Utah Jazz 126-118 Thursday night to go 2-2 in the first round playoff series : 1 in the lead.

Spencer Dinwiddie scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for Dallas, Maxi Kleber had 17 points and Dorian Finney-Smith added 14 points and hit a 3-pointer with 1:56 for a 10-point lead.

Doncic has missed all three games of the series with a strained calf, with signs pointing to his return for Saturday’s Game 4 in Salt Lake City.

Donovan Mitchell scored 28 of his 32 second-half points for Utah. Bojan Bogdanovic added 24 and Mike Conley had 21. The Jazz had won at home against Dallas 11 in a row.

Jalen Brunson drives to the rim
Jalen Brunson drives to the rim during the Mavericks’ Game 3 win over the Jazz.
AP

Conley took the Jazz to 103-102, but Dinwiddie made two baskets and Brunson scored six points from three straight possessions to make it 113-104.

Brunson appeared to injure his back midway through the second quarter when Royce O’Neale hit him from behind at full speed. He moved cautiously, rubbing his lower back and earning a technical error on the way off when he complained about a cheap shot.

Donovan Mitchell
Donovan Mitchell finished the game with 32 points that put the game high.
NBAE via Getty Images

But he shrugged it off, playing with Jazz on a variety of trips to the baskets against several different defenders. Brunson now has 96 points in the three games in the series.

When the Jazz finally caught up with the Mavericks and played without a center, the court opened up for Utah. Mitchell (18) and Bogdanovic (12) scored at will against a leaky Dallas zone in the third quarter. The Jazz made 14 of 18 shots and cut the lead to 97-91 as he headed into the closing stages. The game was physical and crisp at times with 60 fouls.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/22/nba-playoffs-2022-jalen-brunson-leads-mavericks-past-jazz/ Jalen Brunson leads Mavericks past jazz

JOE HERNANDEZ

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