With Luka Doncic out for the Dallas Mavericks, Jazz fans likely expected an easy win, but the Mavericks pushed the Utah Jazz to the end in this one. It took an all-star level game from Lauri Markkanen to hold Spencer Dinwiddie and the Dallas Mavericks 108-100.
The Mavericks are obviously a different team without Luka Doncic, but they found some ways to take advantage of the Jazz’s weak defense. Dinwiddie hit some incredible shots on his way to 35 points for the game. It was an impressive performance all around as he shot 11/23 from the field and 6/11 from three with 8 assists. Dinwiddie hit some incredible shots, but it’s not that surprising he had a breakout performance. Someone on the Mavericks had to take the shots that Doncic normally takes. But with the Jazz’s porous defense this season, it wasn’t too difficult for Dinwiddie to break out.
Put this man in the 3-point contest pic.twitter.com/cms6k7fFk4— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 29, 2023
Because the Mavericks brought a big game, the Jazz needed someone to step up and Lauri Markkane did so in a big way. The sure-fire all-star had a monster game scoring 29 points on fantastic efficiency. The Finnisher shot 11/20 from the field and was 4/8 from three. The level of efficiency from Markkanen this season has been incredible and tonight was a great example of it. Each time the Mavericks would get close, Markkanen would hit a big shot.
As he’s done all season, Markkanen scored in a variety of ways. Whether it was cutting to the basket, posting up a mismatch, or running in transition, Markkanen showed his full bag of tricks and why he’s earned a spot on the all-star team.
It can’t be stated enough how amazing it is that all offseason we heard that the Jazz would like to have an all-star at the game in SLC. The fact that Lauri Markkanen improved to that level is one of the best stories of the year.