The Utah Jazz entered the season with a reputation as a defensive stalwart.
But no defensive effort is going to overcome a 68-point scoring night in the NBA.
That’s what the Jazz put on up on the road on Wednesday in a 118-68 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the worst loss since the Jazz moved from New Orleans to Salt Lake City in 1979.
Historic loss for Utah
It marks the second-worst loss in franchise history, trailing a 158-102 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks during the final season in New Orleans.
Utah got off to a decent enough start on offense, posting an underwhelming but still respectable 46 points in the first half. It was the team’s 13-point third quarter and nine-point effort in the fourth quarter that led the Jazz to a box score that looked like something out of a high school game.
Three Jazz players finished with double-digit scoring, but just barely. Ricky Rubio led the way with 11 points, while Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell notched 10 a piece.
The Jazz shot 31.3 percent from the field and a dreadful 6-of-35 (17.1 percent) from distance.
Every Dallas player scored
For the Mavericks, it was truly a team effort as all 13 active players scored, and nobody tallied 20 points.
Harrison Barnes led the way with 19 points to go with four rebounds and two assists. Luka Doncic totaled 13 points with six rebounds and a pair of assists while Dwight Powell, J.J. Barea and Dorian Finney-Smith all hit double-digits off the bench.
Doncic appeared to suffer a left shoulder injury, but X-rays came back negative, leaving him day-to-day, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Mavericks shot 58.4 percent from the field while hitting 12-of-28 (42.9 percent) 3-point attempts.
Needless to say, the Utah defense did not show up on Wednesday either.
The win marks a trend for the Mavericks franchise. According to ESPN, Wednesday’s was the seventh 50-point margin of victory in the NBA in the last 10 years. Dallas has now won three of those games.
Disappointing start for Jazz
For the Jazz, who opened the season with hopes of a high seed in the Western Conference playoffs, Wednesday marks a low point in a disappointing start. Utah drops to 7-7, good for 10th place in the West.
The Mavericks, who had zero expectations for the season in the midst of a rebuild, improve to 6-8 and are surprisingly giving their fans something to cheer for.
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