by Daniel Olsen
NBA fans had this game circled on their calendars. Two of the best in the west were set to square off on national TV in an ESPN Wednesday night special. Apparently the Lakers didn’t get the memo. The Jazz kept their hot shooting alive en route to a 114-89 win.
Donovan Mitchell was benched for most of the fourth quarter but still finished with 13 points 8 assists and 10 rebounds. While he struggled from three, this was one of the closest games he has had to a triple double in his career. He was one rebound shy of one earlier in the month in a win over the Pacers.
Gobert doesn’t normally lead the team in points but tonight he did just that. He had 18 points and 9 rebounds to go along with a block. He proved he is an All-Star as the Jazz outscored the Lakers by 14 points when he was on the court.
The Jazz sizzled with 14 three-pointers in the first half which was tied for a franchise record for threes in a half. However, they cooled off in the second. They still notched another game on the season with at least 20 made three-point shots. Conley was a big part of that as he had four of them in just six attempts. He showed why he is deserving of an All-Star bid. If a spot opens up, he should get heavy consideration. It was announced just before this game that Devin Booker was awarded the replacement to Anthony Davis in Atlanta. Conley obviously took it to heart as he was stellar on the night.
Clarkson was once again the fire off the bench as he poured in four three-pointers of his own en route to 18 points. He scored exactly half of the points made by the second-unit.
The Jazz have won two straight games and will look to get a new streak going with four games left until the All-Star break. They will head to Miami to take on the Heat on Friday.
• The Jazz started the calendar year 2-2. Since then, they have gone 22-2.
• This is the biggest margin of victory over the Lakers for the Jazz since March 28, 2016. The Jazz won by 48 points with a final score of 123-75 on that day.
• With the win, the Jazz are 4.5 games ahead of the Lakers and 3.5 games ahead of the Clippers in the Western Conference standings.
• Except for the game vs the Clippers on New Years Day, Clarkson has scored in double digits off the bench in every other game this season.
• With nine rebounds, Gobert ended his three game double-double streak. He was also a rebound shy of a double-double the last time he did not get one.
• While Donovan Mitchell has not recorded a triple-double yet, he recorded a double-digit rebound game for the second time in his career.
• Mike Conley has not had a triple-double yet in his career either but came just two assists and two rebounds shy in this game. The last triple-double for a Utah Jazz player was by Carlos Boozer in 2008.
Featured image courtesy Laura Seitz, Deseret News