National Basketball Association
Preview
Dallas at Utah
When: 12:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 28, 2022
Where: Vivint Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Utah Jazz are on the brink of elimination but at least they'll have their star player in Game 6 on Thursday night at Salt Lake City.

Despite having their star player performing at his peak again after missing a few games in this first-round series, the Dallas Mavericks know that having a 3-2 lead doesn't guarantee they will advance.

Last year's postseason disaster offers a reminder. In the 2021 first round, the Mavericks were up 3-2 against the Los Angeles Clippers before losing Game 6 at home and Game 7 on the road.

"I don't even remember that. I don't even remember last year," Dallas forward Dorian Finney-Smith joked. "Nah, but we put ourselves in a great spot. We've just got to handle our business in Utah."

Dallas did that in Game 3, winning 126-118 at Utah to regain home-court advantage after losing Game 1 at home 99-93. Things are vastly different a week later.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic has been dominant since returning from a calf injury that sidelined him for the first three games.

Meanwhile, Utah's most explosive scorer, Donovan Mitchell, declared himself ready to play Thursday night amid a leg injury.

"I'm good to go," Mitchell said Wednesday. "I'll be ready."

This series has been so unpredictable, with Jalen Brunson suddenly playing like an All-Star, the usually sharpshooting Jazz misfiring from deep at historic levels and elite players from each team with injuries.

Mitchell limped off the court and grabbed at his hamstring with 4:55 to play Monday. An ensuing MRI was negative, and Mitchell was optimistic he'll play through his bilateral quadriceps contusions.

Mitchell also believes the Jazz will return to form after only hitting 3 of 30 from 3-point range in the 102-77 Game 5 blowout loss.

Not only was that the worst 3-point field-goal percentage in Jazz history (minimum 20 attempts), it was the least-accurate performance in NBA postseason history (minimum 25 attempts), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

"I don't think we've ever shot this poorly as a group," Mitchell said. "So, we'll bounce back and go from there."

The way Dallas has played for most of this series will require a very large bounce-back by Utah.

Doncic pushed the Mavericks into the series lead with 33 points and 13 rebounds in Game 5 after totaling 30 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the 100-99 Game 4 loss at Utah.

"The first game, I was a little janky," Doncic said. "But I felt better (Monday). I think the first couple of minutes I was tired, but then I was OK. I think the run in the third I was a little tired, too, but just getting my air back."

Dallas is looking to get past the first round for the first time since winning the NBA championship in 2011. That Clippers series last year was the first time in nine occasions that the Mavs blew a 3-2 lead.

Doncic said the Mavericks just need to play like they did Monday.

"I think our defense was amazing, the energy was high and we played hard," he said. "That's the way we've got to play, and that's how we win the next game."

If not, Game 7 will take place Saturday at Dallas.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Dallas 54-32 L1 30-13 24-19 7-3 47-29 14-2 38-18
Utah 51-35 W1 30-13 21-22 4-3 47-32 15-1 35-21
Last Meeting
Dallas Utah
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/23/22 DAL 99 UTA 100 99 43 42.9 100 46 40.5
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Dallas L. Doncic 30 52.4 4
Utah J. Clarkson 25 56.2 4
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Dallas L. Doncic 10 0 10
Utah R. Gobert 15 10 5
Assists Player  
Dallas L. Doncic 4
Utah D. Mitchell 7
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Dallas L. Doncic 1920 45.9 371
Utah D. Mitchell 1894 44.3 303
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Dallas L. Doncic 621 58 563
Utah R. Gobert 1048 262 786
Assists Player  
Dallas L. Doncic 594
Utah M. Conley 406
Quickchart Matchup
Dallas Dallas Off vs  Utah Utah Defense
Dallas Off vs Utah - Points For 108.0 Points For
Dallas Off vs Utah - Points Against 107.5 Points Against
Dallas - FG% 46.1 FG%
Utah - FG% 45.3 FG%
Dallas - Reb 42.7 Reb
Utah - Reb 41.3 Reb
Utah Utah Off vs  Dallas Dallas Defense
Utah Off vs Dallas - Points For 113.2 Points For
Utah Off vs Dallas - Points Against 104.7 Points Against
Utah - FG% 47.0 FG%
Dallas - FG% 45.7 FG%
Utah - Reb 46.3 Reb
Dallas - Reb 43.7 Reb