by Daniel Olsen
On the night before St. Patrick’s Day, there was one team that struck gold. It was not the Boston Celtics. The Utah Jazz found their swagger in a tough game to get back on track with a 117-109 win at TD Garden.
It was a team effort as four of five starters finished in double figures. Leading the way was superstar Donovan Mitchell with 21 points on the night. He and Conley led the backcourt with five assists each. While he only had two rebounds, he found ways to impact the game in a physical battle with Jaylen Brown.
Conley had 17 points on the night and was plus nine for the game. He made three shots from downtown with two of them coming in key moments in the fourth quarter. His final three opened the game from a four to a seven point lead with just over three minutes to go. At that point it wasn’t the nail in the coffin. However, it improved the odds for the Jazz from 80 to over 90 percent.
Gobert once again had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Not only did he do that, but he also blocked four shots into oblivion. He was a team high plus 14 on the night. The two starting front court players in Daniel Theis and Semi Ojeleye combined for just 15 points with Gobert lurking around the paint.
Jordan Clarkson once again proved to be the leader in the Sixth Man of Year race. He went off for 20 points with a team high five three-pointers. He did it all in 30 minutes off the bench. He chipped in three assists and the same number of rebounds. Behind his leadership, the Jazz bench outscored the Celtics second unit 45-21. He received high praise from the TNT broadcast crew. The only exception was his missed dunk. They had a good laugh and Shaq bit his tongue since he admitted everyone already thinks he hates Utah.
With the win, the Jazz maintain a 2.5 game lead over the Phoenix Suns. They will look to get a win streak going when they take on the Washington Wizards on Thursday at 5 PM Mountain Time. The game will be broadcast on NBA TV.
• With the successful night from three, Clarkson has now made at least one three-pointer in his last 65 games. That is the fifteenth longest streak in NBA history.
• The Jazz have now swept five series with teams from the Eastern Conference. They include the Hornets, Hawks, Pistons, Bucks and Celtics.
• Quin Snyder has now won 300 games as head coach of the Utah Jazz. This season, Snyder passed Frank Layden to be the second winningest coach in franchise history.
• This is Gobert’s third straight game with a double-double. He has achieved one in every game since the All-Star break.
• Mitchell connected on 3-5 shots from three. The Jazz are 5-0 in games where he hits 60 percent or better from downtown this season.
• The Jazz started off slow with 20 points in the first quarter but finished strong to double that with 40 points in the fourth quarter.
• The Jazz connected on 22-24 of their free throws for 91.7 percent. With limited practice time due to the pandemic restrictions, perhaps the luck of the Irish was on the Jazz side.
Featured image courtesy Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports