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Utah Jazz

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Another superstar wing shoots down the Jazz

David Locke

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SUMMARY: Another wing player has a career day against the Jazz and the Raptors beat the Jazz 122-116.
• Kawhi Leonard was unreal. He dropped 19 points in the 3rd quarter without missing a shot and added another 11 points in the 4th quarter. He finished with a career high 45 points on 16 of 22 shooting and did it without a 3 pointer. Leonard was an amazing 8 for 8 in the restricted area. He wrapped shots around Rudy Gobert like no one in the league is able to do. He stretched out for reverse layups that seemed impossible. His reach is so long that he gets right under the rim, stops and then reaches out for a reverse layup that is impossible to reach for a shot blocker.

• This is the third time the Jazz have run into a hot wing player. James Harden went off in Houston, Paul George was unstoppable in Salt Lake and tonight Kawhi Leonard was too much to handle. These are three best scorers in the NBA right now and the Jazz don’t have an individual defender to handle them. The Jazz are a scheme based defensive team and when these guys go one on one it is something the Jazz defense doesn’t deal with as well. Then when they pick and roll and go at Gobert there are very few players who are capable to make the plays those three players made in these games.

• The impact is the Jazz had a bad defensive night. The Jazz defensive rating was a 122. In 9 of the previous 10 games the Jazz had held their opponent under 100 points per 100 possessions and the Raptors had been under 100 in 6 of the previous 7 but their offensive struggles ended tonight. Leonard and Pascal Siakam were just too much for the Jazz to handle.

• Jae Crowder was brilliant tonight. He had a career high 30 points. Coincidentally, Crowder’s career high at Marquette was 29 points on January 1st as well.

• The Jazz were +14 with Crowder on the floor tonight despite losing by 6.

• Derrick Favors was a beast. He had 21 points and 9 rebounds. He was great on offensive glass and was having a huge impact on the game. Strangely, he was -13 tonight. Jazz starters tonight were outscored 13-9 in the first quarter and then got outscored 22-8 in the 3rd quarter. For the game the Favors and Gobert combination was outscored 35-17. This is hard to overcome. The Jazz outscored the Raptors by 12 the rest of the game.

• Ricky Rubio had a tough night tonight. He went 0 for in the first half and then finished 6 of 17. Donovan Mitchell was 7 of 23, he was 2 of 8 from three and had 3 assists and 3 free throws. The guard line has to be better shooting for the Jazz to win games. Somehow the Jazz still only fell by 6 and had a good offensive game with a 116 despite the shooting 13 of 40 from the starting back court.

• Jazz lead by 2 at the half.

• Add onto the Joe Ingles was just 0 for 5. The first time this year he didn’t have a field goal since late last year.

• Jazz defense didn’t have an impact and had a poor night. Leonard was unreal. The Jazz backcourt and Ingles have bad shooting nights and the Jazz were in the game in the 4th quarter needed one or two plays and the game would have been a one possession night.

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

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David Locke

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David Locke

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