This winning streak?
It goes to 11.
The Utah Jazz (15-4) added to the NBA’s longest winning streak and the league’s best record with a 120-101 win over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
Forward Bojan Bogdanovic scored 32 points, draining seven 3-pointers to lead the Jazz in the scoring. Mike Conley scored 22 points and dished out nine assists. Joe Ingles sank a historic 3. Rudy Gobert recorded yet another double-double, going for 17 points and 12 boards, as the Jazz finished their homestand with a perfect record at Vivint Arena in January.
And they did it all without the services of Donovan Mitchell (concussion protocol) and Derrick Favors (low back soreness).
“It means a lot for us especially without Donovan,” Bogdanovic said after the game. “He’s our best player and our leader. So it’s great to see all those teams still behind us in the standings. But we have a tough schedule right now. We have to keep going.”
Bogdanovic has started this campaign slowly by his standards, as he’s worked his way back from a May wrist surgery. But the Croatian forward caught fire in the third quarter, going 4-for-4 from deep and scoring 17 points in the period.
“I had a discussion this morning with Coach. They all want me to shoot more and be aggressive,” Bogdanovic said. “Sometimes it’s hard when you’re struggling and you don’t see the ball go through the net. I try to be myself, try to be aggressive no matter what percentage I’m shooting.”
His coach has liked what he’s seen all along the way.
“He had the best year of his career last year; the way that he plays and the way that we play are a good fit,” head coach Quin Snyder said. “The biggest thing I want him to do is continue to attack, continue to shoot, continue to compete. Whatever he’s doing, good things are going to happen. And good things happened tonight.”
The Jazz saw plenty of good things early in this one. In the first quarter, Ingles made history and the team seemed to make just about everything else. Ingles had 10 points in the first, including the 3-pointer that moved him past John Stockton for most 3-point makes in franchise history. In all, the Jazz hit eight 3s in the first (while holding Dallas to 3-of-19 shooting from the field) to build a 37-12 advantage in the opening frame.
Behind an 11-point second quarter from Doncic, the Mavs made a push. The Jazz got a little sloppy and a little cold. The team turned the ball over seven times, leading to 10 points for Dallas. Meanwhile, the hot shooting of the first quarter gave way to a 3-for-12 effort from 3 in the second. Still, the Jazz took a 61-45 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Utah used an 8-0 run to start the second half and Bogdanovic’s hot hand to push the lead up to 30 in third quarter.
“There were a couple of times tonight when we lost focus but we were able to get it back,” Snyder said.
The Mavericks’ second unit made another late push in the fourth but never truly threatened the Jazz.
With Mitchell and Favors out of action, Snyder looked to second-year players Juwan Morgan and Miye Oni to help fill in the gaps.
“They just gave us a tremendous lift,” Snyder said. “… They gave us life. Having that energy from everybody, I think, was crucial.
Morgan had 12 points and seven rebounds as Oni showed his defensive toughness while grabbing four rebounds of his own.
“You have to continue to put in the work so that when your number is called, you’re ready,” Morgan said. “The coaching staff is always keeping guys ready. Rudy, Mike, those guys are keeping that confidence in us to go out there and do the things we show them every day in practice.”
The Jazz have now won 11 straight games, matching the longest win streak of Snyder’s tenure as head coach. This was the 11th time this season the team has led a game for more than 40 of the 48 minutes.
| 96 minutes of basketball against Dallas these past two games and we only trailed for 19 seconds.
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) January 30, 2021
32p | 7 3pm | 2a | 5-5 ft pic.twitter.com/NEOJP1o9jV
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) January 30, 2021
• The Jazz have now played two different two-game sets, one with New Orleans and now another with Dallas. While having teams stay in one city for consecutive games may cut down on travel, not everyone is a fan of the new scheduling wrinkle.
“It’s a good concept as far as limiting travel; I think it makes a lot of sense,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’ve heard different things about it. Some people like it. If you’re a fan maybe you’d like to see a different team every night.”
If you’re a player, too.
“No, not at all,” Jazz forward Georges Niang said when asked if he enjoyed the structure. “It’s just never easy to beat the same team twice or three times. When you have them back-to-back, what you did to them last game is fresh in their minds. I would rather play a different team and move on.”
• Donovan Mitchell missed his second straight game, as the All-Star guard continues through the NBA’s concussion protocol. Mitchell first reported symptoms linking him to a possible concussion on Wednesday, the morning after the team’s home win over the New York Knicks. Mitchell is averaging a team-high 23.4 points per game this season.
Jazz center Derrick Favors (low back soreness) also missed his second straight game due to injury. The big man is averaging 5.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in a key role of the Jazz bench this season.
• Rudy Gobert currently leads the league in screen assists (6.9 per game) and earned praise from his coach before tipoff on Friday.
“The biggest thing is he embraced it from the very beginning,” Snyder said. “It’s something he takes pride in. As much as anything, it’s a willingness and that becomes experience and reps and becoming better at it. … He understands how he can help our team win.”
That’s also why Snyder was glad to see Gobert coming off a 29-point effort on Wednesday.
“It’s like the high school coach who would tell you the guy that sets the screen is the one who gets the ball,” he said. “I don’t know if he believes me entirely when I say it, but I do my best to convince him.”
The team’s homestand has come to a close. The Jazz are headed to Denver for a rematch of last season’s first-round playoff series. Tipoff is set for Sunday afternoon at 1:30.