by Alma Bean
Feature Image: Photo by Michael Conroy of AP Photo.
The Utah Jazz (28-30) takes on the struggling Indiana Pacers (25-33) for their final meeting of the season.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
To start the game Utah was able to get a hot start from Kelly Olynyk (18/10/2). Olynyk was able to score seven points in six minutes on 2/3 (66.7%) shooting along with two free throws. Even though Utah had someone to rely on offensively, they still had to be weary of Isaiah Jackson (11/5/2) who had three blocks in the first quarter. What set these teams apart in the first was their ability to shoot from the perimeter and Indiana creating fastbreak points. Indiana shot 5/11 (45.5%) from the perimeter while Utah shot 2/7 (28.6%) for the quarter. Along with Indiana’s eight fastbreak points to create separation, Utah trailed 33-27.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Looking forward to more of ⬇️ on All-Star weekend 🤩 #TakeNote https://t.co/D8NZFWNLlO” / Twitter
Utah was able to bring a heavier perimeter presence in the second quarter. Holding Indiana to 0/5 (0%) from the perimeter in the second, Utah’s 2/8 (25%) didn’t look as bad. Without a perimeter shot, Indiana struggled to create good looks at the basket and only scored 18 points for the quarter. Even without a three-point shot made in the first half, Lauri Markkanen (29/11/2) was able to lead Utah in scoring with 17 points. With Utah outscoring Indiana 26-18 for the quarter, Utah was able to finish the half with the lead 53-51.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “👉 uscire 👉 #TakeNote | @simofonte13 https://t.co/gFjhPS7Twp” / Twitter
Fast and Furious Basketball
After the break at the half, both teams laid their foot off the gas. Both teams collectively shot 11/20 (55%) from the perimeter but Utah only missed five total shots in the quarter. Someone that helped with that effort for Utah was Jordan Clarkson (29/1/3), who shot 4/4 (100%) from the perimeter and scored 15 points in the quarter. Every time Clarkson found a way to score, Indiana’s first-time All-Star Tyrese Haliburton (30/1/12) was able to find a way to respond scoring 13 points in the quarter on 5/6 (83.3%) shooting. With the call and response quarter that was played, Utah finished the quarter with the lead 89-88.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “atta rook #TakeNote | @youngoch https://t.co/MNZpi7ZhUr” / Twitter
Though Clarkson was tied for Utah’s leading scorer, he also led the game in turnovers with seven of Utah’s 18 total turnovers. Indiana was able to capitalize on those crucial turnovers by converting them to 24 fastbreak points. This game came down to the wire as the score got as close as 117-115 with just over a minute left in the game. Even with Rookie of the Year candidate Benedict Mathurin (21/4/2) getting a dunk with seconds left in the game, Utah was able to come out on top giving Indiana their fifth straight loss 123-117.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “14 points for Collin and counting 🧮 https://t.co/tfyRAJ5gMf” / Twitter
Utah will wrap up their four-game trip on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies before the NBA All-Star break.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “Jordan on the 🎤 with @sportsiren: “We kept moving the ball, kept playing the right way.” #WalkoffInterview | @lhmauto https://t.co/1dFkaLbghP” / Twitter