EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
Summary: The Utah Jazz win their 9th straight in a full out tussle with Sacramento Kings.
- At some point the numbers were going to flip on the Jazz and it happened tonight. The Kings made everything. They nailed 14 of 21 from, prior to that opponents had shot 28% from 3. The Jazz who had been hot from three went cold and hit on just 6 of 24 from three. Yet, the Jazz found a way to win against an energetic hard fighting team.
- Donovan Mitchell was brilliant. He scored 17 2nd half points and in some ways this is near the top of my list of Donovan Mitchell nights. He didn’t have the 3 ball going at all tonight. He went 1 for 8 and yet he found a way to go 10 for 13 inside the arch and carried the Jazz to the win. He drove and drove and drove to the basket and found ways to get by defenders and find shooting windows. He was relentless. With all of his brilliant play this year we have gotten used to night like this, but if he had done this and only this this season I would be over the moon about who he was going to be as a player.
- The Jazz lead the game 32-27 after 1 but the Kings won the 2nd quarter 27-18 and the Jazz offense was way off its game. The Kings started by doubling the pick and roll and the Jazz couldn’t get the ball moving, then the Kings adjusted as the night went on and the Jazz had a hard time getting a rhythm.
- The Jazz bench had a hard time tonight. Dante Exum is doing a great job competing and his drive game is on point and some of his defense was terrific tonight. However, when he has been on the floor the Jazz are having a hard time making shots.
- Joe Ingles became the Jazz all time single season three point leader with a mammoth three late in the 4th quarter that was as important as any basket the Jazz had tonight.
- Royce O’Neale got the assignment to slow down Buddy Heild who was on fire tonight and has scored 20 points in three straight games. Heild used to be one of the worst off the bounce three point shooters but he made those tonight and if that is a precursor of what is to come he is going to be a really nice player. O’Neale broke his rhythm and did exactly what the Jazz needed.
- Rudy Gobert had the block of the night. With the game still in the balance Bogdan Bogdanovic drove to the basket and Gobert came over and blocked the shot. His defense was mammoth on this play and as usual all night.
- The Jazz didn’t allow a fast break point in the 2nd half after allowing 12 in the first half.
- The Jazz lineup of Rubio, Mitchell, Ingles, Crowder and Gobert went on a 7-0 run in the 1st quarter a 11-6 run in the 2nd and went on a 9-0 run in the 3rd quarter and then closed the final 3:00 minutes of the game on a 16-9 run. If I am correct on this the lineup was 43-15 when on the floor for a +28. The rest of the team was a -22 which isn’t great but the Jazz have something with this lineup.
- Jazz sit in 5th in the Western Conference.
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