Jalen Brunson Went Off For 41 Points To Even The Series With The Jazz

The Dallas Mavericks entered Monday night rather desperate to get a win at home after dropping Game 1 to the Utah Jazz in gutting fashion, and with Luka Doncic still sidelined with a calf strain, they needed someone to step up and lead the way offensively.

Jalen Brunson answered that call in a major way in Game 2, scoring 41 points on 15-of-25 shooting, along with five assists and seven rebounds, to carry the load for Dallas and lead them to a 110-104 win, evening the series as it shifts to Utah. Brunson set the tone early with a quick onslaught from three-point range, pushing the Mavs to a quick first quarter lead.

Maxi Kleber, who had a rough Game 1 shooting from distance, also started to see the ball go in, knocking down an early three thanks to a friendly roll that was a signal of things to come.

The Jazz had a response ready for Dallas’ hot start, as they started to settle in on both ends of the floor and assert themselves, tying things up going to the second quarter.

Utah would take control in the second quarter behind a strong effort from Donovan Mitchell, who finished the game with 34 points, and Jordan Clarkson, who finished with 21 points.

The Jazz took Every time the Jazz tried to pull away in the game, Brunson or Kleber seemed to have an answer in the form of a big three.

Clarkson continued to provide a lift, as did Bojan Bogdanovic who had 25 points, as the Jazz tried to keep Dallas at arm’s length in the second half.

The Jazz led 93-86 with just over eight minutes to play, when familiar fourth quarter struggles started to creep back up. Fittingly it was Brunson and Kleber that carried the Mavs down the stretch to the win, with both delivering big shots to put Dallas up in the fourth

The dagger, however, came from Dorian Finney-Smith, whose corner three pushed the Mavs advantage to five with just over two minutes to play.

Brunson would polish things off at the free throw line in a truly spectacular individual effort on a night Dallas desperately needed it, particularly with Spencer Dinwiddie struggling with his shooting, going just 6-of-18 from the field. Kleber’s hot shooting was also huge, as he hit eight threes and finished with 25 points off the bench, giving Brunson an outlet in the pick-and-pop game that gave Utah fits with their drop coverage. With the win the Mavs now will feel rejuvenated going on the road, with hope that Doncic can join the team at some point as the series progresses.

For Utah, it’s yet another fourth quarter lead they’ve seen slip away in recent months, and it was an all-too-familiar refrain, as the offense grew stagnant and was far too reliant on whether Donovan Mitchell could hit tough shots. While he had 34 points, he needed 30 shots to get there and cooled off late, and the Jazz weren’t able to kickstart things again as the Mavs went on their run behind Brunson and Kleber’s onslaught. Now they have to brush this performance off and defend homecourt against a Dallas team that will be brimming with confidence that they can compete with the Jazz with or without their superstar.