The Dallas Mavericks came into Salt Lake on the tail end of a back-to-back, but even that may not be too great an excuse for their performance at Vivint Arena. The Jazz ran Dallas out of the gym with a strong first half, 68-45, and took the eventual win 117-102.
Derrick Favors was the heavy-hitter in the first quarter. In his six minutes paired with Rudy Gobert, Favors had five points, including a 3-pointer and two blocks, to show the twin tower pairing can work. By the end of the first quarter, Favors had nine points, two blocks, a steal, and three boards. He was also +13 to help the Jazz take a 30-18 lead after the first.
At intermission, the box score showed 20 assists for the Jazz (nine from Ricky Rubio, five from Donovan Mitchell) on 27 made baskets. Secret: that's pretty good. Even better news is that it was 20 dimes to only four turnovers. On the season, the Jazz average about 24 assists a game, which is middle of the pack for the NBA. Golden State leads the NBA with 30 assists a game.
By the end of the game, the Jazz had 31 assists, the second time topping 30 on the season, and 11 turnovers, their lowest of the season.
Darrell Griffith made an alumni appearance on the purple throwback night. With his "Spida" Mitchell connection via Louisville, Griffith was asked pregame what advice he'd give the sophomore.3 comments on this story
"Look in the mirror, look at that bulls-eye on your back because you are a marked man now. It makes it even harder, so you gotta work even harder. You gotta start learning how to diversify your game. Once he does that, it's going to be smooth sailing."
After sitting out against Toronto on Monday and being banged up before that, it was comforting to see the Mitchell of old with two monster dunks, court vision and a silky shot. He finished the game with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting.
Friday, Nov. 9, vs. Boston (6-4), 7 p.m. MST
Monday, Nov. 12, at Memphis (6-4), 6 p.m. MST
Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Dallas (3-7), 6:30 p.m. MST