I think we did a great job sharing the ball. We attacked the rim and guys knocked down shots. —Jazz center Rudy Gobert
DALLAS — That slump didn’t last long.
Playing much more like the team that took the NBA by storm the past two months than the one that’s struggled against the Atlanta Hawks, the Utah Jazz shot the American Airlines Center lights out Thursday night en route to a 119-112 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Two nights after hitting 6 of 34 3-point shots and shooting 37 percent overall in that ugly home loss to Atlanta, the Jazz found their stroke and the bottom of the net in this blowout of the Mavericks. Utah shot 52.9 percent overall and 41.4 percent from beyond the arc in this high-scoring shootout against the likes of J.J. Barea and Yogi Ferrell.
"They’re a great team, well-coached, great players, play together," Barea said of the Jazz. "They were hot. We were hot, too, but they were a little bit hotter."
With their 10th win in 11 games, 22nd in 25 and 12th straight road victory, the Jazz improved to 41-31 and moved into a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference playoff standings.
Utah travels to San Antonio on Friday night for the second part of this back-to-back Texas set. The Spurs are currently tied with New Orleans for the No. 5 spot at 42-30.
"We've just got to get ready tomorrow, be sharp," Jazz center Rudy Gobert said. "We know it's going to be a battle. We've got to go out there and get a win."
Rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 26 points on 11-of-22 shooting — though he followed his 1-of-10 3-point outing vs. Atlanta with a 1-for-6 showing in this one. Ricky Rubio fired in 22 points and four 3s, Derrick Favors returned with a vengeance to score 19 with seven rebounds, and Joe Ingles plopped in three treys and 18 points.
Gobert and Jae Crowder each chipped in 11 points during a game in which the Jazz opened with a 37-point first quarter. Utah used a 25-7 run in the first half en route to a lead that blossomed to 21 points.
"I thought that we were really ready to play," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "In the first quarter, both teams shot the ball extremely well. That is what they do. They are able to generate those shots with their execution. I thought we competed and we did some good things."
Things went so well offensively for Utah in this one the Jazz scored more points in three quarters against the Mavericks (96) than they did in a full game against the Hawks (94).
"I think we did a great job sharing the ball," Gobert said. "We attacked the rim and guys knocked down shots. Some nights you're not going to make as many shots, but we've got to do a better job defensively for sure."
Barea tormented the Jazz early on, scoring 10 points in the first five minutes and 20 in the opening half, and led the Mavericks with 23 points with five 3-pointers.
Utah contained the diminutive but deadly 6-foot guard, who's filling in for injured rookie starter Dennis Smith Jr., in the second half but still allowed the short-handed Mavs to make things interesting late.
Mitchell put an end to that, exploding to the basket for back-to-back drives after Dallas pulled within six in the final two minutes.
Gobert admitted the Jazz "sometimes relax a little bit" when they get a big lead, and Mitchell added that easing up "is a bad tendency to have" for a team that's in a playoff race.
"I wish we would have finished the game with more precision and focus," Snyder added. "I thought we did some things at the end of the game where we got lazy. So you always want a little bit more, but that is something we are going to have to be conscious of."
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz had some other impressive statistical performances in this one — 10 assists (of Utah's 32) and a plus-20 night for Ingles; five blocks by Gobert; and five steals for Rubio. ... Former BYU star Kyle Collinsworth played the final five minutes for Dallas. He finished with one point after totaling a career-high eight in a start against New Orleans earlier this week. Utah beat Dallas in all three meetings this season, sweeping the Mavs for the first time since the 1998-99 season.