by Alma Bean
Feature Image: Photo by Rick Bowmer of AP Photo
The Utah Jazz (31-31) takes on the San Antonio Spurs (14-47) before they head on their six-game road trip on Friday.
The Coyote vs The Bear
Right out of the gate, Utah was ready to play. In their previous matchup, San Antonio was shooting hot from the perimeter going 3/3 (100%) from the perimeter before the first timeout was taken. Utah had their opportunity to return the favor in this game by doing the same thing but did it while committing three turnovers in the process. Keeping the score close throughout the quarter, San Antonio struggled to capitalize on their free throw attempts as they went 4/8 (50%) for the quarter. With the injuries and recent trades still affecting Utah lineups, the bench needs to step up in order for this team to be successful. Rookie Simone Fontecchio (2 rebounds) would’ve been ideal for Utah to step up and become a true scoring option. With Fontecchio going 0/3 (0%) for the quarter, Keldon Johnson (25/4/3) and San Antonio were able to finish the quarter with a 32-30 lead.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “ from start to finnish #TakeNote | @MarkkanenLauri https://t.co/McLxkLXIG6” / Twitter
The second quarter felt like a competition on who was going to have a worse shooting quarter. Utah was limited to 5/16 (31.3%) for the quarter while struggling at the free throw line shooting 6/15 (40%). San Antonio tried to match Utah’s play by shooting 8/23 (34.8%) without a single trip to the free-throw line. With a lack of made shots, both teams were looking forward to halftime in order to regroup. Both teams scored 18 points bringing our score to 50-48 with San Antonio up going into the half.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “*insert Talen’s scream here* #TakeNote | @thortontucker https://t.co/qtzbFmBZTo” / Twitter
Black and Yellow
Both teams continued to struggle to make a basket to start the second half, but Utah had even worse news just before the eight-minute mark. Ochai Agbaji (9/1/1), who made his third career start tonight, left the game with a right leg contusion and would not return. With one rookie out, another one came in as Johnny Juzang (3 points and 1 rebound) was able to receive his first NBA minute, and his first basket was a straightaway three. Juzang’s shot was just one of the two perimeter shots made by Utah for the quarter (2/12, 16.7%) the other by Agbaji. Even with Doug McDermott (19 points and 3 rebounds) having 16 points through the first three quarters, Utah was able to regain the lead going into the final quarter, 73-71.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “33 for three* *his first bucket as a Jazzman 🖤 #TakeNote | @JohnnyJuzang https://t.co/xeAvAmsMp2” / Twitter
Starting off the final quarter, Kris Dunn (11/1/3) put Utah on his back. With nine of his points coming in the fourth, he topped that with a momentum-shifting steal with just over 10 minutes left in the game. Though Utah continued to struggle outside of Dunn, was able to get production from their starting guard Talen Horton-Tucker (16/3/3). At the six-minute mark, Horton-Tucker went on a 6-0 run by himself started by an improbable deep three that left his fingertip with two-tenths of a second left on the shot clock. On the following possession, Horton-Tucker found an open opportunity in the corner to hit back-to-back three-point shots. After the three-minute mark, it was all San Antonio from there. Outscoring Utah 10-2 put the nail in the coffin for Utah as San Antonio gets the win 102-94. This win ends San Antonio’s 16-game losing streak and brings the season series to 2-1 in San Antonio’s favor.
Utah Jazz on Twitter: “the work’s never dunn‼️ https://t.co/JNhBUwDZW0” / Twitter
Utah will take on the Oklahoma City Thunder for their next two games of a six-game road trip on Friday.