Once again, things are going well for Maxi Kleber and the Dallas Mavericks. The German national team player has a significant stake in the upcoming win against the Utah Jazz. A long negative streak also ends for Dallas.
Salt Lake City – In the third game of the playoffs without ace Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks got their second win and in the NBA every chance to enter the next round.
More than six years after their last victory in Salt Lake City, the Mavericks with national basketball player Maxi Kleber won after a remarkable 126:118 performance against the Utah Jazz. Doncic is out with a calf injury.
Kleber scores 17 points
As with Monday’s win in Dallas, Kleber had a strong night and contributed 17 points. He hit four of his five three-point attempts. The Mavericks now lead 2-1 in the series. In best-of-seven mode, whoever has four wins first advances to the next round.
“It’s definitely good, especially in the playoffs. It’s very difficult to play here, the fans are very loud,” Kleber told the German press agency. “When they’re on the rise, it’s easy to feel intimidated, but we showed strength today and we had some players who ended up taking charge.”
Jalen Brunson was the Mavericks’ top pitcher with 31 points. “Being a 2-1 lead in the playoffs is extremely good, but we also know that they are very hungry right now and will go out on Saturday and of course play a little more physically,” Kleber said. “So it won’t be any easier, but of course a second win in Utah would be nice too,” he added.
Coach Kidd praises the team
“We have a lot of character in this locker room. We keep playing. This group believes in itself, we talk a lot about defense and we had breaks when we needed them,” said coach Jason Kidd. “In a hostile environment against a good team that is being well trained, we put ourselves in a position to win.” After a balanced first quarter, the Mavs pulled away and were never left behind. Kidd left open whether Doncic can play on Saturday.
The Golden State Warriors weren’t as sovereign against the Denver Nuggets, but they still had their third perfect win with 118:113 and are just one more away from reaching the top eight round. The last injured Stephen Curry came off the bench in the third straight game and scored 27 points. Along with Jordan Poole, he was the best pitcher on his team. Nikola Jokic’s 37 points weren’t enough for the nuggets.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves squandered a big lead in the first of two straight home games. Despite having picked up 26 points in the meantime, they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies by 95:104 and are now 1:2 behind in the series.