Jazz Recover From Slow Start, Beat Adelaide, 129-99
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – For the second time in three preseason games, the Utah Jazz flexed their NBA muscles against an Australian NBL team, this team it was the Adelaide 36ers in a 129-99 win Friday night at Vivint SmartHome Arena.
Gobert Sits Out
Rudy Gobert was given the night off to rest, moving Derrick Favors to start at center with Jae Crowder taking his spot as starting forward. Favors was quickly made a non-factor in the early going of the game, committing four fouls in the first eight minutes of the first quarter. He would recover and go foul-less the rest of the game on his way to scoring eight points with six rebounds.
Slow Start, Strong Finish
The Jazz played a disappointing first quarter shooting just 35 percent from the floor and trailing 31-28 after the opening period.
“We had some really good looks,” said head coach Quin Snyder. “We just didn’t guard. We didn’t get back in transition defense and people were attacking us and we ended up fouling too. You can’t just turn it on and off because you give a team confidence. Give them credit, they did a good job attacking the rim.”
Utah picked it up a notch in the following quarter and took a 66-54 lead into the half time break. Although it wasn’t a flawless performance, the Jazz would not relent again, leading the rest of the way.
By The Numbers
Adelaide’s Nathan Sobey, who played with Utah in the 2017 NBA Summer League, was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points.
“We’re Nathan Sobey fans,” said Snyder. “He’s a heck of a player and a heck of a kid and it was a pleasure to have him in our group.”
Donovan Mitchell led the victorious Jazz in scoring with 18 points in 18 minutes. Grayson Allen had a nice game with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four made 3-pointers. Alec Burks also finished with 16 while Ekpe Udoh quietly had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
On Playing Teams From Australia
Before the game, Snyder was asked about whether or not it was productive to his team’s early growth to play two team from Australia.
“Every opponent gives you some opportunity to improve,” said Snyder. “The Toronto was a different game than tonight, but I think every game has its own nuances, whether it’s a bottom line win, loss, when you’re playing your starters, maybe minutes that you would during the regular season or playing against different concepts or having guys that may not have heavy minutes during the year have a chance to play more and compete and kind of see where they are.”
Being a coach of two Australian players, Joe Ingles and Dante Exum, he continued to state the high level of respect he has for Australian basketball.
“It’s a country that has excellent basketball. They have good coaching. I think it starts there. There’s no shortage of Australian talent in the NBA and around the world. Obviously, we’re a team that has a couple Aussies.”
The Jazz will next hit the road for their penultimate preseason in Portland against the Trail Blazers Sunday night at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on AT&T SportsNet. The regular season will begin Oct. 17 when the Jazz face the Kings in Sacramento.