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Utah Jazz

Donovan Mitchell blows out LeBron’s candles and steals his presents on LeBron’s 33rd birthday

David Locke

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SUMMARY: A raucous party on LeBron James’ birthday was crashed by Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz.

  • A possession-for-possession game in the final five minutes against LeBron James seems like an impossible task, but tonight the Jazz showed great resilience and held off LeBron and the Cavaliers to win 104-101.

 

  • The Cavaliers blitzed the Jazz in the first quarter, 32-22. In the second, both coaches used the mandatory timeout by the 8:20 mark and with the extended play without a lengthy timeout, the Jazz wore out the Cavaliers and cut the deficit to five points by halftime.

 

  • In the third quarter, the Jazz exploded for a 19-3 start and ran out to a 15-point lead. The Jazz were spurred on by Ricky Rubio who was fantastic all night. The Jazz lost the lead late in the third with a bunch of one-on-one play.

 

  • The Jazz clung to an 8-point lead when LeBron James re-entered in the final quarter, 83-75. In no time, that was down to a single point at 91-90 with 3:30 left. The Jazz hadn’t won a game all year decided by five points or less. Only the Boston Celtics have won more games that were within five points with five minutes to play and Cleveland is the number one offense in the clutch.

 

  • With 3:25 to go, Donovan Mitchell scored on a driving lay-up. Wade answered and then Mitchell did it again as he came off a pick and the Cavaliers doubled him. He threw a 90 mile an hour fastball to Favors who made a touch catch and finished plus the foul. The Cavaliers then got three chances on the next possession and got it back down to two points on Kevin Love free throws.

 

  • At this point, Quin Snyder had turned the game over to Donovan. Ricky Rubio — who had been marvelous all night — was not on the floor. The Jazz were closing with Mitchell, Hood, Ingles, Sefolosha and Favors.   Rubio was great tonight.  On numerous occasions he made superb point guard plays to stem off runs from the Cavaliers.  He settled the team down.  He made numerous passion plays.  Rubio plays harder than anyone on the team.

  • Mitchell split the double team on the pick-and-roll, got fouled and then — as though it was no big deal — nailed both free throws. Three straight possessions and Mitchell’s play had led to three straight baskets in the clutch and the Jazz led by four. Cleveland answered with a 3 from Kevin Love and the lead was back down to one point.

 

  • Mitchell then missed a 3. Jeff Green switched on him and Donovan didn’t seem sure how to attack so he tried a 3 and it was short. The Jazz got the stop on a Wade 3 and this is when Mitchell shook the NBA world.

 

  • With :40 seconds left and up 1, Donovan Mitchell brought the ball up the floor and was marked by JR Smith. Rather than getting a pick from the pick-and-roll, Mitchell exploded by Smith to the rim and was able to finish in traffic to put the Jazz up by three. This was so special. Donovan is remarkable.

 

  • Now it was time for the defensive stop of the night. LeBron James tried to get Thabo Sefolosha switched off of him but couldn’t and so he tried to take Thabo down the lane one-on-one. Thabo stayed right with LeBron and didn’t allow him any space and he wasn’t able to get up, the shot fell short and Thabo grabbed the rebound.

 

  • Sefolosha and Favors were prefect from the line down the stretch and the Jazz defeated the Cavaliers.

 

  • The Jazz finish a brutal month at 5-10 which was the standard of success. I am not sure many people thought the Jazz could find five wins in this schedule, but they were able to get it done. Utah had wins this month over Washington, New Orleans, Boston, San Antonio and Cleveland.

 

  • Derrick Favors was terrific tonight. The Cavaliers put a lot of pressure on Mitchell coming off the pick-and-roll and it forced Derrick to make a lot of plays in the middle of the floor. Derrick is one of the top five finishers around the rim and it showed tonight with his amazing hands on numerous tough catches.

  • Donovan Mitchell’s December for a rookie was historical. The kid is really amazing.

 

Michael Jordan 25.2        ‘84

David Robinson 24.0        ‘89

LeBron James    23.3        ‘03

Donovan Mitchell 23.1   ’17

Blake Griffin       23.0        ‘10

Ron Harper         22.9        ‘86

Allen Iverson     22.6        ‘96

David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz are the boring team. Utah Jazz over/under with Chuck Cooperstein

David Locke

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David Locke, radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider, brings you the daily podcast on the Utah Jazz, Locked On Jazz. On today’s episode Locke shares what he is being asked around town. It is all about Rudy Gay, but what will really drive the Utah Jazz are the returning 7 players from last year who all had great seasons. In fact, Locke believes of the new comers Hasaan Whiteside has the chance to have the most positive impact.

It is also day 3 of the over/under with Dallas Mavericks radio voice Chuck Cooperstein. Today they wrap up the Western Conference and the end of the alphabet. They hit on the Utah Jazz and no surprise Locke takes the over for one reason, Rudy Gobert.

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Utah Jazz

Donovan Mitchell on the upcoming season. Over/Under with Chuck Cooperstein, Mavericks, Nuggets and Warriors

David Locke

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Utah Jazz radio voice and Jazz NBA insdier David Locke, brings you the daily podcast on the Utah Jazz, Locked On Jazz. Today, Locke takes a look at the comments Donovan Mitchell made over the last week discussing the upcoming season. Locke returns to the core point that Donovan Mitchell is a great guy and that will drive all of the other factors around Donovan.

Donovan’s comments were very interesting regarding how he spent his off-seasons differently. How the injury to his ankle impacted his playoff play and then changed the way he played the game. At the same time he talks about the Utah Jazz needing to bring a little more fire this year. Locke wonders if Donovan can keep the joy he came with before all the burdens,

Locke is then joined by Chuck Cooperstein the radio voice of the Dallas Mavericks to do a week long series on the Western Conference Over/Unders. They start with the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets. Then they move to the Golden State Warriors. Locke and Cooperstein don’t find much agreement in the opening day of ov

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Utah Jazz

Thurl Bailey on Donovan Mitchell’s next step and the Los Angeles Lakers new roster

David Locke

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David Locke, radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider, delivers the daily podcast on the Utah Jazz, Locked On Jazz

Today’s Episode

  • How the play in game will impact the season
  • Thurl Bailey stops by as part of the summer interview series to discuss the Western Conference and how the new formed Los Angeles Lakers will be
  • What is fair to expect from Donovan Mitchell? Can he take the jump Bradley Beal and Damian Lillard made
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