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Kyrie Irving powers Mavericks past Jazz

The Mavericks were barely able to beat a tanking Jazz team

NBA: Utah Jazz at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Behind 33 points from Kyrie Irving, the Dallas Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz 120-116.

The story of the night for the Utah Jazz were the number of players that missed the game. Walker Kessler missed the game with a non-covid illness, Collin Sexton was out with lingering issues with his hamstring, and Jordan Clarkson missed because of a dislocated finger. With all those players out, it was still a struggle for the Mavericks to beat the Jazz.

It does appear that Luka Doncic is not quite right, he was slow in the game and doesn’t appear to have a lot of lift while he plays. That said, he still ended with 29 points but on 43.5% shooting from the field. That ability to produce on that level is remarkable.

For the Jazz, Lauri Markkanen returned and was phenomenal. He ended the game with 33 points and showed multiple times why he was an all-star starter. With so many injuries, Markkanen finished with 33 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. It was also on a 60% shooting from the field and 55% from three. Markkanen has arrived and is the star that will help support the next superstar that comes to Utah. It’s a bright future for the Jazz and they’ve set things up perfectly to find a team to build around Markkanen. Can they get a star in this draft? If the lottery balls fall in their favor, it’s definitely likely.

It also has to be said that the Jazz have another star but he’s coaching this team. Regardless of who is on the floor, Will Hardy gets the best out of his players and tonight was a perfect example. The Jazz were missing five starters and had a team of players playing their hearts out. The shots weren’t falling because of the lack of talent but the heart and intensity was there all game. Utah has to feel confident that they’ve gotten themselves a coach that can take them all the way as long as they give him the players he needs.