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Clarkson and Jazz hold off Mavs for third straight win

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Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson makes a no look pass to center Tony Bradley (not pictured) during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. -- JEROME MIRON-USA TODAY SPORTS

DALLAS — Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points and dished out eight assists off the bench to lead the Utah Jazz to a 123-119 victory over the host Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic added 23 apiece for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert chipped in 17 points and 16 rebounds.

Utah won its third straight game overall and second consecutive road contest after shooting 59% from the field.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a season-high 33 points and Kristaps Porzingis added 28 to lead the Mavericks, who played without Luka Doncic for their seventh straight game and could not keep up with a potent Jazz offense in his absence.

Utah shot 61% from the field in the first half to quickly take control of the game.

The Jazz used an 8-0 run capped by a 3-point play from Gobert to sprint out to a 19-12 first quarter lead. Porzingis hit a pair of 3-pointers and drove for a layup to make it a one-possession game at 27-24.




Dallas had a tough time hanging with Utah when the Jazz offense really heated up in the second quarter.

Clarkson hit three 3-pointers to finish off a 15-5 spurt spanning the first and second quarters and give the Jazz a 42-29 lead. Then, Utah ran off six straight baskets during a 17-5 run to extend its lead to 63-41 with 4:06 left before halftime. Gobert scored on a pair of dunks to highlight the run.

Momentum shifted in favor of Dallas during the third quarter. The Mavericks trimmed Utah’s lead to 83-80 behind a 15-3 run. Hardaway punctuated the run with back-to-back baskets.

The Jazz pulled away again before the end of the quarter behind hot shooting from Clarkson and Emmanuel Mudiay. Both players scored three baskets apiece to form the bulk of a 19-4 run that gave Utah a 102-84 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Dallas made one final charge and cut the deficit to five behind a 17-3 run late in the fourth quarter. Seth Curry’s 3-pointer capped the run with a 3-pointer that trimmed Utah’s lead to 119-114 with 2:41 remaining. Gobert and Mitchell made back-to-back baskets to help the Jazz preserve the lead down the stretch.

NUGGETS ESCAPE 23-POINT HOLE, DOWN SPURS
Jamal Murray scored 26 points, Paul Millsap had 22 points, and the host Denver Nuggets rallied from a 23-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the San Antonio Spurs 127-120 on Monday night.

Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds, Monte Morris added 16 points off the bench, and Torrey Craig had 11 points and seven rebounds to help the Nuggets win their third straight and their eight in 10 games.

LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers with 33 points, Derrick White scored 15, Dejounte Murray and Bryn Forbes scored 14 each, and Rudy Gay had 13 for the struggling Spurs. San Antonio has lost five straight and eight of 10.

It was the first meeting between the teams since the first round of the 2019 playoffs. Denver, the second seed, prevailed in a Game 7 on its home court. The Spurs scored just 86 points in that elimination game, but they had matched that total with 6:49 left in the third quarter Monday.

Aldridge scored 15 of the first 28 San Antonio points and had 17 in the first quarter. The Spurs went 7-for-9 from the 3-point arc in the opening period and led 40-30 after one.

They continued that hot shooting at the start of the second, going up 47-32 in the first 1:09. Denver cut the deficit to 51-43, but a 9-0 run gave San Antonio a 17-point lead.

The Spurs led 67-53 at halftime. Aldridge hit a 3-pointer and a couple of baskets as the Spurs increased their lead to 86-63 midway through the third quarter.

Denver came storming back, using a 26-7 surge in the last 6:33 of the period to cut the deficit to four. The Nuggets drained a trio of 3-pointers to end the third, and then Millsap and Murray hit two more to tie the game at 95 with 11:16 left.

It was tied at 99 when Millsap gave Denver its first lead with a 3-pointer, but San Antonio responded with eight straight points to retake the lead. Murray scored eight Denver straight points, Gary Harris and Craig hit 3-pointers, and Murray had another from deep to cap a 17-2 run and make it 119-109.

MINUS GIANNIS, BUCKS STILL PUT AWAY KINGS
Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton each scored 28 points as the Milwaukee Bucks got off to a hot start to open the fourth quarter and finished off a 123-111 victory over the Sacramento Kings despite not having Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Brook Lopez added 20 points as Antetokounmpo missed the game for the birth of his son earlier Monday. The Bucks improved to 5-0 in games where they didn’t have the reigning MVP available.

Harrison Barnes scored 23 points and De’Aaron Fox added 17 points with 11 assists as the Kings saw their three game winning streak come to an end. The Kings also had a three-game road winning streak snapped.

The Bucks got off to a fast start without Antetokounmpo, taking a 14-point lead on multiple occasions in the first half. Milwaukee had a 38-24 lead after one quarter before the Kings got back into the game.

Barnes scored 13 points in the second quarter as Sacramento went on a 10-0 run just before the break to take a 58-57 lead at halftime. The Kings led 90-88 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Bucks already were starting their run to take over the game.

Milwaukee scored the final two points of the third quarter, then went on a 13-0 run to open the fourth to take a 101-90 lead. It was part of an overall 20-3 run for the Bucks.

Milwaukee reached 100 points for the 77th consecutive game when Bledsoe hit a 3-pointer with 9:45 remaining. The Bucks improved to 62-15 in those games.

Sterling Brown had 11 points for Milwaukee, while Middleton had 11 rebounds. Donte DiVincenzo and Wesley Matthews had 10 points each for the Bucks.

Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica had 16 points each for the Kings. Buddy Hield added 15 points for Sacramento, which entered with six victories in its previous eight games.

The Bucks swept the season series 2-0 after they earned a 127-106 victory on Jan. 10 at Sacramento, winning even while Antetokounmpo was held to a season-low 13 points. — Reuters









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