SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to post the first regular-season triple-double by a Utah player since 2008, leading the Jazz to a 127-90 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
Clarkson had 20 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds — the first triple-double of his career — and the first for the Jazz in a regular-season game since Carlos Boozer had one on Feb. 13, 2008, a stretch of 1,256 games.
Also, Clarkson’s triple-double was the first in more than 40 years for a Jazz player coming off the bench, dating to Feb. 5, 1983, when Mark Eaton had 12 points, 14 rebounds and 12 blocked shots.
“It was a very cool little milestone to put on my list,” Clarkson said.
The 31-year-old Clarkson achieved the triple-double in his 685th regular-season game, and 728th game of his career. He was a second-round pick, 46th overall, in the 2014 draft by Washington before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019 and moved to the Jazz in 2019.
Clarkson had several near-misses in the fourth quarter before grabbing his 10th, and final, rebound with 2:28 left. He wrapped up the ball, called timeout and then his teammates and Jazz fans erupted with cheers.
“All the way up to the rebound, I was a little nervous,” Clarkson said.
Clarkson’s triple-double is the latest step away from a reputation as a gunner he gained earlier in his NBA career.
“He’s adapted to a new role and he’s really trying to expand how he contributes to winning,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “It’s not just about scoring points. If I could have picked somebody on our team right now to break the streak, it would have been Jordan.”
Simone Fontecchio paced the Jazz with 24 points. Lauri Markkanen added 17 points and John Collins chipped in 15. Walker Kessler had team-highs of 10 rebounds and four blocks, along with 11 points.
Utah won a fourth straight home game and avenged a 50-point loss to Dallas in December. The Jazz have won eight of their last 11 games.
“Eighty-seven point swing is kind of wild,” Markkanen said. “It feels good to start the year off right.”
Luke Doncic led the Mavericks with 19 points, 14 assists and six rebounds. Jaden Hardy hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points for Dallas who lost to the Jazz for just the second time in eight meetings.
“We just couldn’t get in a rhythm with that zone, the box-and-one and the different defenses that they played tonight,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “We knew what was coming. We just didn’t execute or capitalize on it tonight.”
Kyrie Irving returned to action after missing 12 games with a bruised heel and finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Irving admitted feeling a nervous in his first game back.
“It’s my first time in my career I’ve had this type of injury and it was unique and I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be out,” Irving said. “There was no structural damage done to it, but it was, achy, and I don’t want to say (I was) humbled, but you realize that the injury is a lot more significant when you can’t get your other shoe on.”
The Jazz got an early spark from Fontecchio, who scored 12 of Utah’s first 14 points. He made five baskets overall in the first quarter — including three 3-pointers.
Fontecchio’s early scoring set the stage for a 16-7 run that put the Jazz up 37-26 going into the second quarter. Kessler and Clarkson punctuated Utah’s run by scoring a pair of baskets apiece over four straight possessions.
The Mavericks trimmed a 12-point deficit to 70-67 early in the third quarter after Derek Lively II dished to Hardy for a corner 3-pointer and followed with back-to-back baskets. Fontecchio and Markkanen threw down back-to-back dunks to stop the 9-0 Dallas run.
The Jazz pulled away for good behind a 16-4 run to extend its lead to 97-79 early in the fourth quarter. Clarkson scored or assisted five of six Utah baskets during the decisive run.
Dallas: Hosts Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.
Utah: Hosts Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.
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