Jazz Embarassed By Mavericks In Dallas

Dec 6, 2023, 10:13 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – Despite a strong showing from Taylor Hendricks, the Utah Jazz’s rocky 2023-24 season hit a new low with a 147-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic became the first player in NBA history to record 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in the first half of a game.

The guard finished with 40 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds on the night.

The 50-point loss matches the franchise’s worst since moving to Utah in 1979. Coincidentally, the Jazz also fell to the Doncic-led Mavericks 118-68 on November 14, 2018.

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At Least Taylor Hendricks Played Well

In what was otherwise a historically bad performance, rookie Taylor Hendricks gave Jazz fans something to smile about in Dallas.

In just his second game getting real rotational minutes, Hendricks scored 10 points, grabbed two rebounds, recorded two steals, and blocked a shot while shooting 4-6 from the floor and 2-4 from three.

But beyond his productive stat sheet, Hendricks’ presence was clearly felt during his 25 minutes in the game.

Hendricks’ ability to spread the floor required the Mavericks’ defense to stay connected to him in the halfcourt, while his speed in the open court pressured the rim in transition.

Though it’s not unusual for rookies to flash their offensive strengths, it was Hendricks’ performance on defense that stood out.

Hendricks blocked his second jump shot in as many games, this time a Tim Hardaway Jr. three-pointer, dislodged several balls with his length as a help defender, and perfectly read a Mavericks fastbreak to blowout up an alley-oop at the rim.

“I think that [ Taylor ] has been pretty good,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said of Hendricks defense. “There’s little errors here and there to clean up but I’ve appreciated his intensity and I’ve appreciated how much he’s given us on that end of the floor.”

Hendricks ability to impact the game without the ball in his hands marks a significant growth from his time at Central Florida.

Based on Hendricks college highlights alone, he looked like a top-five worthy lottery pick. But too often at UCF, his focus and impact in between those highlight reel plays waivered.

The forward is too physically gifted to completely disappear during games, but those same gifts allowed him to coast through long stretches of play last season.

Instead of carrying those habits into the NBA, Hendricks has shown true vigor in his last two appearances with the Jazz, and has made a case to stick with the team’s main roster.

Jazz Nearing Historically Worst Road Start

With their 50-point loss to the Mavericks, the Jazz are just 1-10 away from home to open the season, tied for the second-worst road record through 11 games in franchise history.

And, they’re closing in on the worst start on the road since the team moved to Utah nearly 45 years ago.

During their inaugural season in Salt Lake City, the Jazz began the year 1-12 away from home, but haven’t matched that .077 winning percentage since.

Now, only three games stand between the Jazz and a new record low since the team moved to Utah, and avoiding that embarrassment won’t be easy.

After facing the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, the Jazz travel to face the 13-7 Oklahoma City Thunder on the road, return home to face the New York Knicks next Wednesday, then play back-to-back road games against the 6-13 Portland Trail Blazers and the 11-8 Sacramento Kings to close the week.

The Trail Blazers appear to be the best hope of avoiding a historically bad start on the road, but Portland did beat the Jazz by 16 in their last home win, and led by 32 in the fourth quarter.

Even if the Jazz do set a new road-losing record next week, it likely won’t extend into the New Year.

The Jazz will face both the 2-19 Detroit Pistons, and 3-17 San Antonio Spurs on their five-game road trip before the Christmas holiday.

Nightly Awards: Jazz vs. Mavericks

The “Rayjon Tucker I Didn’t Get Signed To Pass” Award: 

Goes to Luka Samanic who has become allergic to passing in his second year with the Jazz.

After Wednesday night’s loss, Samanic is the only player in the NBA to make at least 10 appearances while recording only two assists in over 60 minutes of action this season.

Former G League star Rayjon Tucker notoriously recorded just five assists in 20 appearances with the Jazz after signing with the team on December 23, 2019, the same night they traded Dante Exum for Jordan Clarkson.

The “Frank Layden All-Time Jazz Coaching Quote” Award:

Goes to Will Hardy who delivered a doozy after the 50-point loss to Dallas.

Hardy called the performance a “masterpiece of dog****” which rivals some of Layden’s great quotes about the Jazz.

Layden is noted with this classic quote when talking to a former Jazz player.

“Son, what is it with you? Is it ignorance or apathy?’ He said, ‘Coach, I don’t know and I don’t care.”

Utah Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Clippers on Friday at 8 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on ESPN, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Jazz Embarassed By Mavericks In Dallas