It was high season for season-high totals Wednesday in Utah.
Without two of their best players -- Donovan Mitchell (concussion protocol) and Derrick Favors (back) -- the Jazz relied on the best scoring performances of the season from Rudy Gobert, Jordan Clarkson and Joe Ingles to continue their NBA-best win streak.
Gobert had season-highs in points (29) and rebounds (20), while Clarkson (31 points) and Ingles (21 points on seven 3-pointers) helped boost the short-handed Jazz to their 10th consecutive victory, 116-104 over the Dallas Mavericks. The teams meet again Friday at Utah.
"We want to be unselfish, help each other on both ends of the floor," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. "I think we're covering for each other, our communication defensively. The game can be simple if you let it be."
Along with the season-high performances, the Jazz got another solid performance from Mike Conley. The point guard, who's making a case to be an All-Star, had 17 points and helped the offense run smoothly with six assists.
A deep Jazz team is showing an ability to win even when stars are sidelined, or players don't have their best shooting nights. Sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic was only 3 of 9 from the field Wednesday.
"It's probably the first time since I've been here that I've seen that much focus from everyone in this locker room," Gobert said. "I really feel like we're playing for something bigger and we're on a mission."
It was the Mavericks' turn Wednesday to see what it feels like to be on the other side of the Jazz's mission-driven focus.
"We're just not ourselves right now," Dallas' Luka Doncic said. "We're gonna have to pick it up and be way better than this."
For better or worse, Dallas will not have to wait long for a chance to play better against the Jazz.
It's uncertain whether Mitchell, the Jazz's leading scorer at 23.4 points per game, and Favors, Utah's reliable backup big man, will be available. It might not matter if Doncic & Co. don't show some improvement.
Even without Mitchell and Favors, the Jazz pounced on the Mavericks for multiple 21-point leads in the first half. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle claimed that rough start was "the killer" for his team.
The loss was the third in a row for the Mavericks, who have two three-game losing streaks and only a pair of wins since Jan. 15.
"We didn't come out with enough force, enough disposition, enough energy," Carlisle said. "They were great and we did not play well."
The Mavericks are in good company. During its win streak, Utah has outscored opponents by an average of 15.3 points per game and has rarely trailed late in contests.
That surge helped boost the Jazz to the top of the standings following play Wednesday. It has been satisfying run and start to the season for a Utah team that reportedly had an "unsalvageable" situation between Gobert and Mitchell after both contracted COVID-19 last spring.
"It's just a really fun group to play with," Ingles said. "We play for each other. There's no egos involved. It's not as unsalvageable as some people think."
(Field Level Media)