By: Kimya Oliver
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Off the inbound pass, Rudy Gobert made a pass at the top of the arc to Bojan Bogdanovic for the driving layup. The Jazz opened the first quarter on a 17-8 run. Mike Conley spotted Juancho Hernangomez cutting to the basket for the layup to end the first quarter. The first quarter ended with the Jazz leading30-23.
The Jazz hit back-to-back threes to open the second quarter. The Jazz capitalized on getting easy baskets. Conley passed the rock to Mitchell who bullied his way in for the floater and the Jazz ended the second quarter winning 58-45.
Gobert set Conley a screen, but Conley’s defender was still smothering him. He then made a pass to Bogdanovic for the corner three-pointer. The Warriors cut the Jazz lead to 87-81 at the end of the third quarter.
Conley continued to stay hot from deep by draining a step-back three-pointer. Towards the middle of the quarter, the Jazz went on a scoring slump by not scoring for five whole minutes. Warrior Jordan Poole grabbed the defensive rebound and drained a three-pointer at the other end to give the Warriors their first lead of the ball game. The Warriors continued to get to the free-throw line for easy points until the final buzzer rang.
The Daily Double-Double
Gobert notched the only double-double of the game with 14 points and 20 rebounds.
I am disappointed in the Jazz. They can’t close a game when they are leading. The Jazz led for three quarters and fell short in the fourth quarter. This scenario reminds me of what previously happened against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors ended the final seven minutes of a ball game on a 24-4 run.
Allowing teams to go on a run of more than 16 points is unacceptable, especially in a late-game situation. The Warriors have already clinched a playoff spot, so this was a positive outcome for them, but for the Jazz, this is a crucial moment in their season. The Jazz now are two games behind the Dallas Mavericks for the No. 5 spot. Even without Stephen Curry, the Jazz still did not close out despite being up 21 points.
Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole both were on fire. Thompson shot 50 percent from the field and Poole shot 40 percent from the field. The Jazz defense was poor in my opinion, allowing the Warriors to shoot 41 percent from beyond the arc. Allowing that team to shoot over 30-35 percent from beyond the arc is not going to win games. If Curry was on the floor, it would have been a major blowout, despite the fact that the Jazz were winning convincingly for the first three quarters.
On a positive note, Mitchell and Conley had great nights. 26 points is on the lower side for Mitchell. Yes, he averages 26 points per game. However, when facing a big team I assume he will drop 30 plus points that night. On the other hand, Conley did amazing, especially in the late game. Conley scored eight of the 17 points in the final quarter to play.
The Jazz face Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies in their next game. The Grizzlies are currently the No. 2, behind the Phoenix Suns, in the Western Conference, and on a seven-game winning streak. They have defeated the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. Morant is a ball of energy when he is on the hardwood and his athleticism is through the roof. Morant is currently dealing with an injury, but do not underestimate this Grizzly team because they come out ready to play every night.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
The Jazz will face the Memphis Grizzlies on April 5 at 7 p.m. MST.
Featured image courtesy Jed Jacobsohn, Associated Press