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Jalen Bruson nets career-high 41, Mavericks even series vs. Jazz

Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson made 15 of 25 field goal attempts and totaled 41 points in a playoff win over the Utah Jazz on Monday in Dallas. Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE
Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson made 15 of 25 field goal attempts and totaled 41 points in a playoff win over the Utah Jazz on Monday in Dallas. Photo by Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE

April 19 (UPI) -- Veteran guard Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 41 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Utah Jazz in Game 2 of their Western Conference playoff series, which is now tied at 1-1.

Brunson made six 3-pointers, totaled eight rebounds and did not log a turnover in the 110-104 victory Monday at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Game 2 of the first-round series featured 13 lead changes and was tied six times.

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The Mavericks, who won despite the absence of injured star guard Luka Doncic, made 22 of 47 3-point attempts and totaled just three turnovers in the victory. Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber made eight 3-pointers and totaled 19 of his 25 points in the second half.

"We had great ball movement, with zero turnovers in the second half," Brunson told reporters. "We were out there playing together. Everything was fluid.

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"Obviously, the ball was going in for me, but I wouldn't be able to do that without my teammates. As a team, we just kept fighting and stuck together."

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The Jazz earned an initial lead off the tip off, but the Mavericks answered with a 12-2 run. The Jazz ended the first quarter on an 8-3 run and the score was tied 24-24 to start the second.

Brunson totaled 15 points over the first 12 minutes.

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The Jazz outscored the Mavericks 31-24 in the second and led 55-48 at the break. Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson paced the Mavericks with 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the second quarter.

The Mavericks used an 8-0 run early in the third to close the gap. They outscored the Jazz 29-26 in the frame, but still trailed 81-77 to start the fourth.

The Jazz pushed their lead to 93-86 over the first four minutes of the fourth. The Mavericks responded with a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to take the lead, which changed hands two more times down the stretch.

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Mitchell gave the Jazz a 98-96 lead when he hit a floater with 4:44 remaining. Kleber responded with 3-pointers on two consecutive possessions to give the Mavericks their final advantage.

The Mavericks outscored the Jazz 14-6 over the final 4:21. Brunson and Kleber scored 10 points apiece in the fourth quarter.

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"It doesn't matter if I have a hot day and make my shots or if it's somebody else," Kleber said. "All we care about is getting the win.

"But, obviously, it feels really good to make those shots"

Mitchell scored 34 points in the loss. Clarkson chipped in 21 off the Jazz bench. Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic scored 25 points. Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie totaled 17 points in the victory.

"This was a great win for us and something we can build off of, but we've got a lot of room for improvement," Brunson said. "There are things we can clean up and do better. We just gotta stay the course."

The Jazz host the Mavericks in Game 3 at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.

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