5 stats from Mavericks’ Game 5 win over Jazz

Luke’s first home playoff game of the year could not have gone better. Dallas did not spend time licking their wounds after a knife-thin loss in Game 4. They came out, took control early and crossed to a wire-to-wire victory.

They get a chance to close out the series in Utah, but first here are some stats from Dallas’ 102-77 blowout win in Game 5.

36: First half points for Utah

Utah scored just 36 points in the first half. It is their lowest first half of the entire season. It was if nothing else a balanced effort as they scored 18 in both the first and second quarters.

It was another stifling defensive effort from Dallas – a hallmark of the Mavericks in this series and a big reason why they won two of the three games without Luka Doncic. Dallas has consistently held Utah during their second in the league 40.3 three-point attempts per game, and in tonight’s game, Utah shot a rotten 3-of-30 from deep. The defensive effort was important early on as it gave Dallas time to clean up some early turnovers and cluttered possessions, but once Dallas fell into place, things went smoothly.

13 to 11: Luka Doncic overtook Utah’s Rudy Gobert

How much Rudy Gobert should be involved in the Jazz’s attacking plans has been a question in this series, but one thing that was never in doubt was Gobert’s presence on the boards. He managed 10 offensive rebounds in Game 4 alone and was instrumental in giving Utah their 22-to-12 edge in the second chance.

Dallas did a much better job of comparing the missed shots in Game 5. Luka led the team on the boards, while Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber – who stayed out of bad trouble all night – kept Gobert away from the glass. In fact, Dallas won not only the rebound fight, but also second-chance points. They put 14 of their own back while keeping Utah at just eight. It’s the same winning formula that Dallas used to steal Game 3 in Utah, where the Jazz only scored six second chance points.

4: Bench points scored by Dallas through three quarters

When Luka returns and moves Spencer Dinwiddie back to the bench, you would think Dallas would have some extra firepower in the other unit. We’ve definitely seen how it plays out – Kleber, Bertans and Green have all had great nights in this series.

Tonight, though, it was pretty much as pure a test of team talent as you could conceive; our five best guys against your five best guys. Dinwiddie, Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss added a couple of benchpoints later in the fourth and well into the garbage time, but just as Game 3 was a statement game for the bench, this was a statement game for the five starters.

2: Drafts

When teams fall big, things tend to get chippy. In the fourth quarter with the game well in hand, Luka took it upon himself to try to send Hassan Whiteside on early retirement with a cocked back dunk attempt. When Whiteside met him at the edge, there was certainly some contact, but probably nothing that would have caused concern.

But as Luka took offense at some tangled arms on the way down, a clash ensued between Whiteside and the two Mavericks who came to Luke’s aid, Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith. Everyone was separated after sharing a few words, and by the time the dust settled, Whiteside had earned two technical fouls and one expulsion, and Bullock and Finney-Smith got once each. In the case of Bullock, the technology was paired with a (very weak) technology from earlier in the game and was thus also expelled. It was perhaps a tactical expulsion from Bullock who has been Dallas’ iron man in this series and he played more than 40 minutes in every game. He left this one with a minus ball for comparison 31.

Hopefully that’s enough to freshen up his legs for the playoffs in Utah. The dustup may not be something – a little push during a series – but should be something to keep an eye on when these teams meet next time, as there is certainly no love lost between the teams at the best times, and it looks out that their patience with each other quickly becomes thinner.

19: Luka scored points in the 3rd quarter

Dallas scored 29 total points in the third, and 19 of them belonged to Luka Doncic. It was a crucial quarter for Dallas, with Doncic playing a full 12 minutes, giving Dallas the separation it needed to ensure Utah would not be stuck in the fourth.

Their lead at the break of 52-36 was good but we have seen both of these teams run low. Any hope of that was quickly extinguished when Doncic came out and scored Dallas ‘first eight points in the frame, pushing Dallas’ lead to 20. Combined with keeping Utah at just 19 points (hey, a better than they managed in the first and secondly), Luke’s great performance in the third quarter gave Dallas the security it needed for a nice easy win – something that has been hard to find in this series.

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