by Kimya Oliver
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Donovan Mitchell made a dish to Rudy Gobert, who was cutting to the basket for the slam dunk to start the first quarter. The Jazz opened the quarter on an 11-6 run.
The Bulls found offensive momentum and took the lead with two minutes to go in the first frame. Nickeil Alexander-Walker hit both free-throws to to tie the ball game 27-27 at the end of the first.
Gobert cut to the basket for the layup and missed, but cleaned up his mess with the putback layup to start the second quarter. This game was neck and neck.
The Jazz gained an eight-point lead halfway through the second quarter. Conley pulled up from deep and missed it, but Royce O’Neale grabbed the offensive rebound to Clarkson for the friendly finger roll for the layup. The second quarter ended with the Jazz leading 54-49.
Gobert was attacking the offensive boards. Mitchell drove to the basket and missed the layup, but Gobert was there for the putback dunk. He recorded his sixth offensive rebound of the night on that play. The Jazz, again took the lead with two minutes in the quarter and closed the third leading 89-81.
Alexander-Walker pulled from deep with the dish from Clarkson to begin the final quarter to play. The Jazz continued their offensive momentum throughout the rest of the quarter.
The Daily Double-Double
Mitchell ended the night with 37 points and Clarkson contributed 26 points. Gobert ended the game with his third straight double-double. He had 14 points and 20 rebounds.
I think the Jazz played phenomenal after falling short from the previous game, Clarkson only scored eight points versus the Bucks, but finished with 18 more points in this game. Clarkson scoring consistently will be a key factor in the success of this team. Not only that, but Gobert makes it hard for opponents whenever he can convert on scoring and rebounding opportunities at this pace.
The Jazz shot a lights out shooting 51 percent from the field. Shooting above 45 percent is wonderful and will often result in a win. The Jazz attacked the basket when needed. They took advantage when the Bulls’ defense was being lazy inside the arc.
For the first time this season, Alexander-Walker played a huge role for the first time this season by dropping 16 points in only 22 minutes. He shot 50 percent from the field and 3-5 from beyond the arc. I think if he can prove himself to Quin Snyder, he can play a key role in the Jazz rotation.
Defensively, the Jazz held Nikola Vucevic to 10 points and Alex Caruso to two points. Vucevic averages 18 points this season and Caruso averages 8.2 points per game. The Jazz need to focus on holding opposing players to below their averages like they did in this game.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
I believe this should be a win for the Jazz. The Clippers still do not have Kawhi Leonard or Paul George on the floor and will need to take advantage of this. The Jazz defeated the Clippers in the previous match-up on Dec. 15 124-103.
The Jazz will be facing the Los Angeles Clippers on March 18, 2022 at 7 p.m. MST.
Featured image courtesy Rick Bowmer, Associated Press