9:10 pm
April 21

Mavericks @ Jazz

Who will WIN this matchup?

Dallas Mavericks (52-30)

@ Utah Jazz (49-33)


Current odds:

Dallas Mavericks: (+283)

Utah Jazz: (-370)


The line for this game is Jazz by 8 points.

• Luka Doncic is out for game 3 but is expected to return for game 4 on Saturday. 

The Utah Jazz return home after snagging home-court advantage from the Dallas Mavericks with a 1-1 split of the first two games in their Western Conference first-round playoff series. But heading into Thursday night’s Game 3 in Salt Lake City, it’s the Mavericks who have the momentum after a surprising Game 2 win and the encouraging update that their superstar is getting closer to being able to play for the first time this postseason.

Luka Doncic, who strained his left calf in the regular-season finale a week and a half ago, gave reason for optimism about a possible imminent return while speaking publicly Wednesday for the first time since the playoffs began. He said he’s “feeling good” at this point. If Doncic’s series debut doesn’t happen Thursday, his next opportunity will be Saturday in Game 4.

The Jazz are trying to shake off what the Mavs did to them Monday night to even up the series in a 110-104 win with Doncic sitting on the bench.

Jalen Brunson went off for a career-best 41 points, the Mavericks set a franchise playoff record with 22 3-pointers (compared to just 11 triples for the Jazz), and Dallas only turned the ball over three times as Utah’s perimeter defense struggled to contain drivers and failed to close out on outside shooters.

Brunson hit six treys and Maxi Kleber scorched the bottom of the nets eight times from beyond the arc.

For Utah, Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points but needed 30 shots from the field to get there. Mike Conley was foul-plagued and struggled, going scoreless while attempting only seven shots in 22 minutes. Rudy Gobert hauled in 17 rebounds but once again didn’t make much of a positive impact offensively, scoring eight on 2-for-5 shooting.

The off-night for Utah squandered an excellent opportunity to return home up 2-0.

StreakSmarter Pick
Utah Jazz