Donovan Mitchell scored 30 of his 32 points after halftime, Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 26 and the Utah Jazz opened the playoffs with a 99-93 victory Saturday over the Mavericks in Dallas, which was without injured All-Star guard Luka Doncic.
Bogdanovic had Utah’s only two three-pointers before halftime,in a 13-2 run over the final 3½ minutes that put the Jazz ahead to stay. Mitchell, who always seems to step up in the postseason, came alive after the break.
The fourth-seeded Mavericks, starting the playoffs at home for the first time since their NBA title run 11 years ago, sorely missed their 23-year-old superstar. Doncic strained his left calf six days earlier in the regular-season finale. Coach Jason Kidd has said only that Doncic is day to day.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night in Dallas.
Jalen Brunson, the starting point guard with Doncic out, had 24 points on nine-of-24 shooting with seven rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 22 points, Reggie Bullock added 15 and Dorian Finney-Smith 14.
With Doncic in a black hoodie on the bench, the Mavericks cut an 11-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter to 92-91 on a three-pointer by Maxi Kleber with 2:12 left. After Mitchell missed, the Mavs had the chance to take their first lead in the second half, but Kleber missed badly on another long-range shot.
Royce O’Neale then scored his only basket for the Jazz, a three-pointer from the corner after he had first missed inside and then got a pass from Mitchell. Utah finished with a 20-7 edge in second-chance points.
Rudy Gobert had 17 rebounds for the Jazz.