by Kimya Oliver
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
The Jazz started the first quarter off with a step-back three-pointer from Mike Conley. The Jazz started off with a 7-2 lead, but the Nuggets locked down defensively to take control early on.
Aaron Gordon met Udoka Azubuike at the rim with a block and went the other way for an easy layup. The Nuggets continued to attack in the paint, taking a 10-7 lead. The score remained neck and neck for the remainder of the first quarter.
With less than one minute to go, Conley banked a floater. The first quarter ended with the score tied at 26.
Clarkson got caught in traffic backing to the rim, but quickly gathered his dribble before pulling up from three. The Jazz were letting it fly from three early, Conley hit a three-pointer to extend the Jazz lead to 32-26.
The Nuggets started feeling good from deep, Gordon and Facundo Campazzo hit back to back threes to get the Nuggets back in the game with six minutes left in the second quarter.
With one minute on the clock, Bojan Bogdanovic intercepted a bad pass. Conley gathered the steak and made a quick inside pass back to Bogdanovic for the layup. The first half ended with the Jazz leading 57-56.
Donovan Mitchell drove to the basket and made a tough floater despite being surrounded by blue jerseys to open the third quarter. Azubuike started building his confidence, making a slam dunk and getting fouled in the act. He made the following free throw to put the Jazz up 63-58. The third quarter ended with the Jazz having a 10 point lead, 88-78.
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Ten seconds into the fourth quarter, Clarkson immediately hit a jump shot. The Jazz began to lack offensive firepower, missing jumpers and causing turnovers and the Nuggets cut the deficit to 94-91.
Bogdanovic went coast to coast, grabbing the defensive rebound and making the easy layup on the other end. The Jazz continued to put their foot on the gas on the offensive side of the ball.
The Daily Double-Double
Bogdanović had 26 points and Mitchell had 17 points. Rudy Gobert didn’t play, but Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale both notched double-doubles of their own to pick up the slack. They combined for 24 rebounds which was over half of the team total (44).
Bounce Pass: Up Next
The Jazz will be facing the Toranto Raptors on January 7, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. MST.
Featured image courtesy David Zalubowski, AP