By: Kimya Oliver
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
To open the game, Donovan Mitchell made some quick moves to get his defender on his toes. He then sank a step-back three-pointer.
The Jazz went on an almost four-minute scoring drought before Royce O’Neale hit a three from beyond the arc.
The Pelicans found momentum early as they led 12-8 halfway through the first quarter.
With the clock ticking down, Mike Conley made a skip pass to Jordan Clarkson who hit a three with three seconds remaining in the first quarter. The quarter ended with the Pelicans leading 24-23.
In the second quarter, neither team gained a lead larger than five points. With five minutes remaining in the first half, Mitchell faked driving to the basket and pulled up from the free-throw line for a jumper.
The Jazz managed to take a five-point lead with eight seconds left in the second quarter with Mitchell making a driving layup. After the first half, the Jazz led 52-49.
The Pelicans were giving Mitchell a hard time offensively. Mitchell had a total of 10 points at the end of the first half.
The Jazz fed off the offensive momentum in the previous quarter. Conley immediately hit a three-pointer and the Jazz opened the third quarter on a 10-3 run to extend the lead to 62-52.
Halfway through the third, O’Neale made a pass to the corner to Mitchell. Mitchell made a quick behind-the-back step-back move, that made his defender fall off balance. He sank the jump shot to add insult to injury.
The Pelicans couldn’t find a flaw in the Jazz’s offense. The third quarter ended with the Jazz leading 82-77.
Traveling: Jazz win first game of 2022
Conley made a driving layup to get the offense going in the fourth quarter. Mitchell began to get his offensive momentum and drove to the basket on back-to-back possessions to extend the Jazz lead to 100-85. The Jazz held on for the win.
Mitchell ended with 29 points and Conley ended with 22 points. Rudy Gobert notched another double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
The Jazz will be facing the Denver Nuggets on January 5 at 8 p.m. MST.
Featured image courtesy Gerald Hubert, Associated Press