National Basketball Association
Dallas at Utah
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 24, 2018
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Utah Jazz will look to start a new winning streak when they host the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. Utah won a season-best 11 straight games prior to the All-Star break but struggled offensively Friday when it dropped a 100-81 decision to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Jazz weren't crisp like the club that sailed into the break and committed 20 turnovers against Portland and tallied only 17 points in each of the final three quarters. "Maybe it's not a bad thing, you know," Utah center Rudy Gobert told reporters of the team's first loss since Jan. 22. "For some people, we can forget about the streak and we just focus on every game." Dallas has dropped 13 of its last 16 games after suffering a 124-102 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. "I'm not making any excuses," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "The guys we have in this locker room, we have to show up the right way. Our level of force wasn't there."TV:
9 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (Dallas), AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Utah)ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (18-41):
Dallas is 7-22 on the road this season and figures to face long odds against the Jazz in a road back-to-back while Utah is playing consecutive home games on its back-to-back. "It's going to be extremely difficult," Carlisle said after the loss in Los Angeles. "They got their butts kicked so that is going to be a difficult place to play (Saturday) night. You know what, we need big challenges and we need to step it up." Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was a meager 5-of-16 shooting against the Lakers but tallied 13 points for his 23rd consecutive double-digit performance.
ABOUT THE JAZZ (30-29):
The availability of point guard Ricky Rubio (hip) will be determined Saturday as he played 20 minutes against Portland after missing the final three games prior to the All-Star break. Rubio wasn't effective and had more turnovers than assists (three to two) and scored only four points. "He wouldn't have played if he was in harm's way," Utah coach Quin Snyder said afterward. "It takes a while for a player to get their timing back and certainly their wind back. It is good to have him back and he was on a minute's restriction."BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Jazz have won the past four meetings, including a 104-89 home victory Oct. 30.
2. Dallas PF Dirk Nowitzki (back) departed in the fourth quarter against the Lakers and his status will be determined Saturday, according to Carlisle.
3. Utah rookie SG Donovan Mitchell scored 21 points for his fifth straight 20-point outing - he is averaging 24.4 points during the stretch.PREDICTION:
Jazz 96, Mavericks 82
Stats and Records