Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, front, drives to the basket past Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) and Talen Horton-Tucker (0) in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
DALLAS (AP) — Kyrie Irving hit a clutch 3-pointer and scored 17 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, and Luka Doncic added 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks beat the short-handed Utah Jazz 120-116 Tuesday night.
Utah trailed 118-115 with 3.7 seconds to play when Talen Horton-Tucker was fouled and sent to the line for two shots. After sinking the first, his intentional miss slammed directly off the backboard and didn’t hit the rim, giving Dallas possession.
“Just aimed too high,” Horton-Tucker said. “I wanted to hit the back rim.”
Irving’s 3-pointer from the right side gave Dallas a 112-108 lead with 2:33 to play and was part of an 8-0 run that put the Mavericks ahead 115-108.
Dallas (34-32) began the day in seventh place in the West and finished the night tied for fifth place, improving to 3-5 in games in which both Irving and Doncic have played.
Irving went into play leading the NBA this season averaging 9.4 points in the fourth quarter.
“I just love the challenge,” Irving said of his fourth-quarter play. “Just seeing where guys’ legs are, seeing where they are mentally, just seeing how many teams stick to their game plan.”
“He loves the moment,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said of Irving, who came to Dallas on Feb. 6 from the Brooklyn Nets. “He loves to win. He loves to help his team win.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 24 points off the bench, including 7-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc as Dallas finished a season-high six-game homestand 3-3.
Lauri Markkanen returned to the lineup after missing a game with a low-back strain and scored 33 points to lead the Jazz. Horton-Tucker added 21 points.
The Jazz (31-35) lost their fourth straight and dropped to a season-low four games below .500. They played without two starters – shooting guard Jordan Clarkson (sprained finger) and center Walker Kessler (non-COVID illness).
The Jazz hit six of their first eight shots to lead 14-6 four minutes in before Hardaway scored 10 straight points for Dallas and helped the Mavericks to a 34-31 lead at the quarter.
Hardaway hit his first four 3-point shots. Seconds after he made his fifth in sixth tries to give the Mavericks a 51-37 lead four minutes into the second period, Hardaway backpedaled and his left foot landed on Jazz coach Will Hardy’s foot just inside the Utah coaching box as Hardy was calling a timeout. Hardaway went down, was helped to the bench and was soon back in the game.
“It’s not a good feeling, for sure,” Hardy said. “You’re nervous that he’s really hurt. That’s why I apologized to Tim multiple times. I apologized to Jason multiple times.”
Jazz: Clarkson has sat out three of Utah’s last four games while Kessler, the NBA’s Rookie of the Month in February, missed a game for the first time since Halloween. … Guard Collin Sexton, averaging 24 minutes, missed his sixth consecutive game with a hamstring injury.
Mavericks: Doncic was scoreless in the fourth quarter, missing two shots – both 3-pointers. … Hardaway shot 5 for 6 from behind the arc for the second straight first half, matching his most career 3’s in a half. … Starting forward Reggie Bullock left with a right quad contusion after playing eight minutes in the first period. He finished with no points and two rebounds.
Jazz: Visit the Orlando Magic on Thursday in the fourth game of a six-game trip, their longest of the season.
Mavericks: Complete a back-to-back at the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.