by Kimya Oliver
The Utah Jazz lost their fifth straight game at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers by the final score of 121-115.
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Donovan Mitchell made a tough pass to Juancho Hernangomez at the top of the arc for a three-pointer to begin the ball game. The Jazz continued their offensive momentum by gaining a 26-12 lead with two minutes to go in the quarter. The first quarter closed with the Jazz leading 32-14.
Off the rip, Mike Conley stole the ball from Isaiah Hartenstein. Jordan Clarkson grabbed the ball and threw it to Conley for the three-pointer. The Jazz continued to gain offensive momentum throughout the quarter by closing the first half leading 61-48.
Mitchell turned on the jets to start the third quarter by snatching the defensive rebound and driving to the basket for the layup. The Clippers began to gain offensive momentum. The third quarter closed with the Jazz hanging onto a 94-82 lead after leading by as many as 24 points.
The Clippers started to get hot from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter and gained the lead with 3:30 to go in the ball game. The Jazz could not stop the offensive flow of the Clippers for the remainder of the game.
The Daily Double-Double
Mitchell finished the night with 33 points and Conley finished with 19 points. Gobert nearly had a double-double with 16 rebounds and nine points.
I thought the Jazz had this game from the tipoff. At the end of the first quarter, the Jazz lead 32-14. Yes, that is a bit early to say the coast is clear, but in most scenarios, the team with the huge lead will close out the game. Things started to fall downhill in the fourth quarter. By the final four minutes of the fourth quarter, the Clippers managed to cut the Jazz lead to three points. Things started to heat up on the offensive side for the Clippers. The Clippers capitalized on driving to the basket and getting easy baskets.
I don’t understand how the Jazz lost such a huge deficit. Trent Forrest went down, but I feel like Mitchell, Clarkson, or even Conley could step up and get hot from the floor. Rudy Gobert and Royce O’Neale staying in single-digit figures is also a problem. They need to score at least 10-12 points each for the Jazz to be in a comfortable space in the points department .
Overall, I was very shocked at the end of the game. The Jazz has the Los Angeles Lakers up next and in my opinion, they should definitely win that game no questions asked. The Lakers will lose even if Lebron James has a “great game”, so this one should be a walk in the park. There is a high chance of Forrest being out because of his injury, so Clarkson, Conley, or Bojan Bodanović will need to step up and rack up a couple more points.
The Clippers have come back 24 times this year from a 20+ point deficit, which is impressive. I think the one thing the Clippers did was be patient when on the offensive side of the ball and also use fast break opportunities when grabbing a loose ball. Another thing that hurt the Jazz was their shooting at the charity stripe. The Jaz shot 17- 29 (58.6 percent) from the free throw line. Free throws can either save or hurt a team and it hurt the Jazz in this situation. Like a wise coach once told me regarding free throws, they are free so use them.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
The Jazz will face the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31 at 8 p.m. MST.
Featured image courtesy Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press