by Alma Bean
Feature Image: Photo by Alex Goodlett of Getty Images
The Utah Jazz (23-24) looks to win the season series against the Los Angeles Clippers (23-23) in their final trip to Salt Lake City.
Star Fewer Troopers
Utah started off this game hot. Starting off with a 9-0 run lead by Lauri Markkanen (34/12/1) who scored seven of those nine points. Walker Kessler (13/11/3) followed that with a steal leading to a dunk on the other end forcing Los Angeles coach Ty Lue to call a timeout at the 10:28 mark of the first quarter. Even with a great start from Utah, both teams were shooting great from beyond the perimeter. With Los Angeles being without their stars on the second night of a back-to-back, they struggled to score within the perimeter. Shooting 6/19 (31.6%) within the perimeter, Norman Powell (30/4/3) took matters into his own hands shooting 4/7 (57.1%) from the field and 3/3 (100%) from the three-point line. Even with Powell putting Los Angeles on his back, Utah finished the quarter on top 36-26.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Big man on the break 🤠 https://t.co/T6prpmOes0” / Twitter
Utah’s firepower carried over into the second quarter. Shooting 7/14 (50%) within the perimeter and 5/7 (71.4%) from beyond, Utah looked to keep its foot on the gas. Behind a perfect shooting quarter from Mike Conley (17/4/9), he continued to gravitate toward the corner three. Conley being a threat from the corner opened up more opportunities for Markkanen as he finished the quarter with 24 points. Those opportunities didn’t go unanswered as Powell finished the half with 20 points on 5/6 (83.3%) shooting from the perimeter. Utah was able to gain minimal ground on Los Angeles as they finished the half with a 68-56 lead.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “ 𝐒𝐊𝐘𝐁𝐋𝐎𝐂𝐊𝐄𝐑 https://t.co/RqUb5hZ3QK” / Twitter
The Hollywood Hills Have Eyes
The stoppage came very quickly to start the second half. Just 22 seconds in, coach Lue was hit with a technical foul while Markkanen was at the free-throw line. It was unclear what led to the technical foul, but the assumption was some words were said toward the official during the foul call. Utah started to veer away from the perimeter and drive toward the basket. One play, in particular, had an assist from Conley to Markkanen leading to a poster on Ivica Zubac (15/12/1).
NBA on Twitter: “LAURI. TOUGH. https://t.co/UuOjPgQ8Cm” / Twitter
Utah managed to match the excitement with a turnover leading to a block by Ochai Agbaji (4/3/1), saved from Jordan Clarkson (16/2/4) to Jarred Vanderbilt (9/3/3) leading to a tomahawk dunk from Collin Sexton (11/1/1). With all the excitement leaning toward Utah, both teams had their lowest-scoring quarters to this point with Utah leading 95-81.
Kris on Twitter: “OCHAI! https://t.co/OOPyANi7y8” / Twitter
After gaining a large lead throughout the game, Utah seemed to continue its pursuit towards the basket, but not as successful. The paint started to get clogged as Utah shot 4/10 (40%) but stayed efficient from the perimeter going 6/12 (50%). Coach Will Hardy decided to show Los Angeles some mercy with just under three minutes left in the game. Utah finished the game with a win 126-103.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Vando appreciation tweet https://t.co/sLxBJLsd4e” / Twitter
Utah will take on the visiting Brooklyn Nets (27-17) as Brooklyn looks to end their four-game losing streak.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Wasted no time getting back in a rhythm ♬ Lauri on the 🎤 with @sportsiren #WalkoffInterview | @lhmauto https://t.co/5SmuPUDqV0” / Twitter