Utah could not have dreamed of a better final to unite its troops around its two leaders, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. The duo joined forces in the final to resist an infernal Luka Doncic, and were rewarded with this ultimate coup in “Lob City” mode to delight this Game 4 with its suffocating atmosphere.
Luka Doncic quickly reassured his people by scoring two baskets in the first minutes of the match then a 3-pointer, delaying the expected revolt on the Jazz side. It was thus necessary to wait for the final moments of the first quarter to see the locals take the lead, after a basket from Rudy Gobert (sanctioned by a technical foul in stride), and a 3-point from Jordan Clarkson (24- 23).
It was from the 6th man from Utah that the first spark came, with a tap and two drives that gave the locals a first gap, with the help of Donovan Mitchell (38-28). The Jazzmen pushed up to +16 with in particular a Bojan Bogdanovic in perfect relay of the Mitchell-Gobert pair on throws (51-35).
Accompanied by Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic had to get out of his “Magic box” a 3-point step-back and a lay-up at the half-time buzzer to limit the breakage (54-42).
A salutary passage for the Mavericks who confirmed the trend as soon as they returned from the locker room by relying on the missiles behind the arc of the Doncic-Bullock-Finney-Smith trio to fuel a 17-5 (59-57). Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith gave it a layer with two 3-point baskets each to move Dallas to +3 at the end of the third quarter (78-81).
The alley-oop between Royce O’Neale and Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson’s 3-point and three-shot sequence put the Jazzmen back in the lead at the start of money-time (87-86). Until the end, Quin Snyder’s troops stood up to the exploits of Luka Doncic, with the presence of Rudy Gobert and the composure of Donovan Mitchell, especially on his 2 + 1 which brought his team to 98-99.
Then, when Dwight Powell missed his two free throws under pressure from the crowd, the Mitchell-Gobert tandem shone one last time with a saving alley-oop 11 seconds from the end, giving the Jazz victory, 100- 99 after a last failed attempt by Spencer Dinwiddie at the buzzer.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The hug between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Mocked, opposed, decried, the two Jazz leaders had to go through crises around their (alleged) disagreements. On the brink of the abyss on this Game 4, they offered their best response on the pitch with a final that highlighted their respective qualities, of skill, creation and game vision for Mitchell, and presence in the paint and finishing for Gobert, even if he could have taken care of his 3/8 in the free throw in the final. The victory was celebrated with a nice hug between the two men.
– The return of Luka Doncic. Back from a calf injury after thirteen days of absence, the Slovenian returned to his role as if nothing had happened, and with a significant playing time (34 minutes). In any case, he very quickly showed that he had lost none of his brilliance, and his final with 9 of his 30 points in the money-time confirmed it. He will have missed only the victory.
✅ Donovan Mitchell. The back showed great mental strength in this match, during which he went through difficult times without ever giving up. His three key actions at the end, with two baskets including a 2 + 1 and an assist for Rudy Gobert made him the hero of the match on arrival, with the Frenchman.
✅ Jordan Clarkson. The one who put his team on the right track and who posed a permanent threat to the Texas defense. An impressive +/- of +18 compared to the rest of the team.
⛔ Spencer Dinwiddie. Rather productive in previous games, the leader of Dallas was in an evening without this Game 4. Not in the rhythm, in need of address, he nevertheless inherited the last shot which could have changed everything, in vain.
⛔ Mike Conley. Completely transparent. There is no doubt that the Jazz expect much more from him on this series.
Return to Dallas for Game 5 this Monday evening (03:30).