by Daniel Olsen
Even good teams lose to bad teams sometimes. Such has been the case this season as the Jazz were swept by the Washington Wizards in the regular season series as the 24 game home win streak came to a close. The Jazz lost by a final score of 125-121.
The Jazz started off on the right note with a three by Bojan Bogdanovic. Donovan Mitchell then went absolutely bananas. He exploded for 17 points in the first quarter. That tied his career high for a first frame performance. His best play of the game was a crossover that resulted in a step-back three and possibly some extra ice for his defender’s ankles after the game.
After a 42 point first quarter, the Jazz cooled off in the second frame. They were outscored 37-23 in the second. Part of the reason is Mitchell sat out to rest for a while and wasn’t on fire after that like he was to start the game. The Jazz also had way too many turnovers as they lost that battle 8-14 throughout the contest. The Jazz scored 20 points off Wizards turnovers though. That is mostly thanks to transition three opportunities. Had they committed a few less turnovers, the final score might have been closer as the Wizards scored nine points off Jazz turnovers.
The third quarter was a little better defensively, but the normally best third quarter team in the NBA only managed to score 23 points in that frame. Thanks to a good first quarter, the Jazz still found themselves within striking distance. They might have been a little overconfident because they know they’re good enough to go on a run at any time.
The Jazz did go on a run and, while it was a little too late, they almost pulled off the win. Mitchell got going a little more as he finished the game with the same amount of fire that he started. He made timely threes, free throws and any other shot the Jazz needed him to make to come back from a double-digit deficit. However, Russell Westbrook hit a mid-range jumper with a minute left and called game. With 32 seconds to go and the Thunder up six, that might be a safe bet almost every time.
He was a little lucky though that the final Jazz push for a comeback came up short. Right after that, Bogdanovic hit a pair of free throws and Bradley Beal had an uncharacteristic pair of missed freebies. Then, Donovan raced to the other end an made a quick lay-up to pull within two points with 12 seconds to go. Beal wouldn’t choke twice though as the 90 percent free throw shooter sank a pair of free throws to ice the game on the next possession.
The Jazz will look to avoid a two game home losing streak as they play the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight on the second game of a back-to-back stretch. The last time the Jazz lost two straight home games was their first two ofthe year. The Phoenix Suns have pulled back to within 1.5 games of the Jazz for the best record in the Western Conference.
• The Wizards are the only Eastern Conference team to sweep the season series with the Utah Jazz. The Jazz have only lost four other times to teams from that conference this season.
• Westbrook has now recorded a triple-double against the Jazz in both matchups this season.
• Mitchell has scored at least 40 points in three out of the last four games.
• Bogdanovic scored 33 points. That is more than all other Jazz starters not named Mitchell combined (32).
• Gobert gave the ultimate Stockton tribute with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
• The bench struggled in Clarkson’s absence as they combined for just 14 points on the night. Derrick Favors led the way with six points.
• The Jazz are undefeated in the month of April when they hold their opponent to under 110 points.
Featured Photo courtesy Alex Goodlett/Getty Images