by Daniel Olsen
Sunshine brought a ray of hope to the home team on Friday night in Miami. For just the second time in February, the sunset precluded a Jazz loss as the Heat defeated them 124-116 in South Beach.
It was a close game for the most part as the two teams traded leads throughout the game. The Jazz slightly outscored the Heat in the first and third quarters but couldn’t overcome being outscored in the second and fourth quarters.
Donovan Mitchell was the best player on the Jazz as he had 30 points on the night. While he struggled along with the team from deep with a 2-9 clip from three, he found other ways to get to the rim and the foul line. Mitchell kept the team in the game with six points in the final ten minutes of the game. While it wasn’t the difference in the game, he did split a pair of free throw attempts in the clutch. He took the blame but was positive afterwards on Twitter.
It was just another day in the office for Gobert with a double-double yet again. He recorded 15 points and 12 rebounds. He also had two blocks on the night, including an impressive block on Bam Adebayo.
Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic joined the starters with double-digit scoring nights off the bench. Conley led the team in assists with seven on the night. Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson both contributed 13 points each off the bench. Ingles was more efficient as he made the same amount of shots from the field as Clarkson in ten less attempts.
The Jazz will look to right the ship tomorrow on the second night of a back-to-back. They will head close to the NBA Bubble in Orlando where they will play the Magic. It is a place where dreams come true so hopefully the Jazz can wish upon a star for a better performance in this matchup. Orlando is struggling this year at 13-20. They have the third worst record in the Eastern Conference and 25th out of the total 30 NBA teams in the standings. The Jazz, in contrast, are still 26-7 on the season so far. They are the only remaining team with single-digits in the loss column.
• The Utah Jazz are the best three-point shooting team in history. They have made 559 shots from downtown in through 33 games. Houston had only 330 through the same amount of games in the 2017-2018 season.
• This is the eighth time this season that Mitchell has scored at least 30 points in a game.
• With 59 straight games with at least one made three-point shot, Clarkson now ties Kevin Durant for number 23 all-time in that category.
• The Jazz and Heat both protected their home court in the season series. The Jazz have a league best 15-2 record at home while the Heat have a 9-7 record in Miami.
• The Jazz are now 2-7 on the season when trailing at the end of the third quarter but are undefeated when leading after the same point in the game.
• The Jazz have only lost two consecutive games once this season when they made a trip to face both New York teams. They will look to avoid a similar fate with this back-to-back with the teams in Florida.
• Rudy Gobert leads the team with 64.1 percent from the field. That is also better than his 59.2 percent from the free throw line.
Featured image courtesy AP Photo/Lynne Sladky