Game Recap: Utah Jazz make statement over Bucks in possible NBA Finals Preview

Game Recap: Utah Jazz make statement over Bucks in possible NBA Finals Preview

by Daniel Olsen

When the Jazz played Milwaukee, it was a convincing double-digit win in which they dropped a then franchise record 25 three-point shots. This time, they overcame a lower than usual shooting percentage from downtown and still swept the Bucks on the season with a 129-115 win.

Starting point guard Mike Conley was out again with hamstring tightness, and yet the Jazz had a combined 103 points from four players. Jordan Clarkson, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles all had 25 or more points in the game. This is the first time in franchise history that such a feat has happened.

Another franchise best has also occurred as no Jazz team has ever gone 21-5 through the first 26 games. The Jazz are still undefeated in the month of February with six straight wins. All these wins have been against Eastern Conference teams. The Jazz have not lost to a team from this conference outside of the state of New York.

Ingles was arguably the most deserving of the game ball. He made four three-pointers in the first four minutes of the game and cruised to again tie his career high of 27 points. This is the seventh time he has hit this mark according to this tweet from the Utah Jazz Twitter account.

Gobert matched his jersey number with 27 points of his own and once again recorded a double-double. The play of the game was when he posterized Giannis Antetokounmpo on a dunk. The Greek Freak responded with some dunks of his own but his 29 points were not enough to will his team to victory.

Mitchell struggled early but relied mostly on his inside game and ability to get to the free throw line. Despite going 1-9 from three, he still finished with 26 points. The Bucks are a good team, so Mitchell and the rest of the team had to give another historic performance to get the win.

Clarkson was the spark the Jazz needed off the bench. He scored 25 points and was racing early with Joe Ingles for the top scorer of the night. He proved that he is able to create his own shot while still playing within the team offense.

Outside of the historic performances by these four, the only other player to score in double figures was Derrick Favors with 10 points. He played aggressively and gave the Jazz some quality minutes.

Royce O’Neale did not score any points but still was the defensive presence of the Jazz starters. He finished with 10 rebounds. He also helped bother the opposing offense.

Jazz Game Notes:

• The Jazz had 34 free throw attempts, which is the most since their loss to Denver when they had 39 attempts. The Jazz converted 85.3 percent of their shots from the charity stripe on the night.

• The Jazz are really good. They have won 17 of their last 18 games and have had the one seed locked up for eight straight games now.

• It was an average shooting night by their standards but the 36.8 three point percentage still resulted in 14 threes. They did a similar thing to another top team in the Celtics on Tuesday.

• This is the second time this season that the Jazz have beaten a team with a former MVP on it. Both wins came against The Greek Freak and the Bucks. Their game against Westbrook and the Washington Wizards was cancelled last month and Harden was not yet a member of the Brooklyn Nets.

• The Bucks failed to have any player outside the Greek Freak score over 12 points. At the same time, they watched former Aggie and Bucks player Sam Merrill drop 20 points in the G-league game.

• The Jazz have only lost two straight once in their season so far. Other than the New York trip, the Iazz are 3-0 following a loss. This six game winning streak is the second longest of the season.

• The 1996-1997 Jazz won 23 of 24 games in one stretch and had two 15-game win streaks in the same season. Both of those streaks are tied for the franchise record.

Featured image courtesy Salt Lake Tribume

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