By John Coon, The Sports Xchange
SALT LAKE CITY — Rodney Hood has made a ton of 3-pointers in his Utah Jazz career. Few can match the last one he launched against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
With the final seconds draining off the clock, Hood ran on pure instinct. There was no time to kick the ball out to another player or do anything fancy. He just pushed the ball up the court as he mentally counted down in tandem with the game clock.
Hood felt breathless for a moment as the ball left his hand. Then it swished through the hoop and concern turned to relief and celebration.
His go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.8 of a second left lifted Utah to a 103-100 victory over Dallas.
“Everybody dreams of that feeling,” said Hood, who finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting. “Time going down. 3-2-1 and you hit a shot and the crowd goes crazy. I did it a lot of times in my front yard, but never in a real game. It felt good to get this one.”
Rudy Gobert scored 16 points and collected 10 rebounds to lead the Jazz. Gobert earned his sixth straight double-double for Utah. Gordon Hayward and Trey Lyles added 13 points apiece for the Jazz (17-10), which won for the 10th time in the last 12 games.
Harrison Barnes scored 21 points and Deron Williams added 18 to lead Dallas. Wesley Matthews and Seth Curry chipped in 13 apiece for the Mavericks.
Before Hood’s game-winner, Williams had a chance to pull off last-second heroics for the Mavericks. Dallas rallied from a 15-point fourth quarter deficit and tied it at 100 when Barnes buried a fadeaway jumper with 45.4 seconds remaining to cap a 14-3 run.
Hayward missed a layup on the other end and Curry snagged a rebound to set up a final shot for the Mavericks. Williams missed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 7.8 seconds left. Hood quickly reeled in the rebound and raced up the court for the decisive basket.
“As a point guard, I know when to run a play,” Williams said. “I started the play too early and couldn’t really check the time because of how the play developed. I just got to do a better job of controlling the game. At the end of the game like that, we got to get the shot with as little time as possible.”
Utah stayed a step ahead for much of the game behind efficient shooting and dominant rebounding. The Jazz made 37 of 65 shots from the floor (56.9 percent). They finished with a 41-27 rebounding edge, which led to a 48-28 advantage in points in the paint and a 12-3 edge on second-chance points.
Dallas (6-20) shot 12 of 28 (42.9 percent) from 3-point range, but could not overcome struggles on the glass. Those struggles started from the opening minutes of the first quarter and never got better.
The Jazz out-rebounded the Mavericks 22-8 in the first half. Utah had seven offensive rebounds and a 10-0 edge in second chance points. It helped the Jazz withstand the Mavericks raining down one 3-pointer after another.
This isn’t the first time Dallas has struggled on the glass with both Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut sidelined with injuries.
“It’s just one of these things where we got to stay with it,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Five guys got to do it on every single play and we got to find a way to get better.”
Dallas did not take its first lead until Justin Anderson buried a 3-pointer early in the second quarter. Back-to-back dunks from Salah Mejri followed and gave the Mavericks a 40-37 lead with 9:18 left before halftime.
Utah retook a 50-47 lead later in the quarter on a Dante Exum 3-pointer. Hayward threw down a dunk and scored on a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions to put the Jazz up 62-53 with 1:06 remaining in the half.
The Mavericks rallied again in the third quarter. Wesley Matthews drained a 3-pointer to cap a 10-2 run and tie the score at 70.
Utah did not let Dallas actually take the lead. The Jazz answered with a 17-5 run, going up 87-75 with 1:07 left in the third quarter on back-to-back layups from Mack and Trey Lyles. Hood and Hayward got the run going when they each buried critical 3-pointers.
The Jazz looked to be in good shape, going up 92-77 on a jumper from Joe Johnson to open the fourth quarter. Dallas had one rally left, however, and Utah was forced to battle down to the wire.
“We really stopped attacking the rim,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “I don’t know what our points in the paint were in the second half. I thought (Dallas) got physical and we didn’t respond as well. And when I say physical, just good, hard-nosed, clean play. We need to react to a team when it gets into a grind in that situation.”