Donovan Mitchell finds Rudy Gobert on alley-oop as Jazz tie series with Mavericks

SALT LAKE CITY — Rudy Gobert gave Utah the lead with an alley-oop dunk with 11.0 seconds left and the Jazz held off the Dallas Mavericks 100-99 on Saturday in Game 4 to tie the first-round series.

After the game, he issued a profanity during an on-court interview after Utah’s win.

Gobert, who had 17 points and 15 rebounds, was asked about the Jazz’s potential for this series and beyond and said: “F–k the talk. We just try to be the best team we an be. We try to enjoy the moment and whatever happens, happens.

Former Net Spencer Dinwiddie had a chance to win it for Dallas but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Utah held the Mavericks to 18 points in the fourth quarter after surrendering a double-digit lead in the second half. Dallas made just two baskets through the first seven minutes of the fourth and shot 33 percent overall in quarter.

“This is the team we want to be,” Gobert said. “This is who we are.”

Warning: explicit language

Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points for Utah, Donovan Mitchell added 23 points and seven assists. Rudy Gobert had 17 points and 15 rebounds — 10 off the offensive glass. He was 3 of 8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and 9 of 18 overall.

Dallas star Luka Doncic had 30 points, 10 rebounds four assists in his return from a three-game absence because of a strained left calf.

“Getting my wind back,” Doncic said. “A little bit tired now but it felt great to be back.”

Jalen Brunson added 23 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell and Reggie Bullock had 11 points apiece.

Rudy Gobert throws down the go-ahead basket on an alley-oop from Donovan Mitchell against the Mavericks on Saturday, April 23, 2022.
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Game 5 is Monday night in Dallas.

“We were down 12 at the half and we stayed the course, and it comes down to the last possession,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “If you’re on the road in the playoffs and it comes down to the last play, you can’t ask for a better situation.”

After going 3 1/2 minutes without a basket, the Jazz took a 95-94 lead on Mitchell’s layup with 1:27 remaining. Doncic answered with back-to-back baskets to put Dallas up 99-95.

Mitchell converted a three-point play to bring Utah within one. Powell missed a pair of free throws with 19.8 seconds left, opening the door for Gobert’s winner.

The Jazz doubled Doncic on the final possession, forcing him to kick out to Dinwiddie on the right wing for a 3-point shot that fell short.

“We didn’t really execute it well,” Doncic said.

Utah led by 16 points before halftime. The Jazz built up a 51-35 lead after a big second quarter from Clarkson. He scored baskets on three consecutive possessions to help Utah carve out a double-digit lead.

Dallas erased the deficit in the third quarter behind hot outside shooting. The Mavericks went 8 of 10 from long distance in the quarter and took a 74-71 lead when Finney-Smith and Brunson scored 3-pointers over four straight possessions to fuel a 12-2 run.

“I thought the way we responded to that was not like a blitzkrieg type response,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “It was a response over time which requires more mental toughness. You can’t just make a spurt and all of a sudden get it back. You have to grind it out.”

Utah attempted 42 free throws compared to 23 attempts for Dallas. The Jazz shot only 26-of-42 from the line, due in part to Gobert’s struggles. The sheer volume of free throw attempts for Utah was unacceptable for Doncic.

“It’s tough to win a game when you give them 42 free throws,” Doncic said. “We got to stop fouling.”

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