UTAH JAZZ

Mike Conley Ice Cold In First Game With Jazz

Oct 23, 2019, 11:03 PM

Mike Conley - Chris Paul...

Mike Conley #10 of the Utah Jazz guards Chris Paul #3 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during an opening night game at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 23, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mike Conley shot and shot and shot, but could never get out of a funk in his regular season debut with the Utah Jazz.

He was still smiling at the end, waving the crowd on after hitting the first of two free throws that sealed the Jazz’s win over Oklahoma City 100-95. The crowd responded with a loud roar to cheer on Utah’s floor general.

“Those last two free throws summed up my night,” Conley said with a grin. “I’m going to go home a happy man.”

Conley missed 3-pointers, jumpers, and floaters. He started the game 0-13 from the floor, including 0-4 from beyond the arc.

“I was a little bit confused,” Conley said when reflecting back to his shooting woes during the game. “I (didn’t) know what else to do. I got to get a lay-up or something because it was just in-and-out-, in-and-out.”

Conley finally hit a floater with 5.9 seconds left to go in the 3rd quarter for his lone bucket of the game. Conley recognized that the majority of his shots were short.

“Might have been too excited for the first game. But if I’m a betting man, I probably won’t do that again,” said Conley.

Conley finished 1-16 from the floor for 5 total points. Coach Quin Snyder was still happy with the way Conley played.

“Mike didn’t have a terrific shooting night, but he found a way to impact the game defensively,” said Snyder.

Meanwhile, Bojan Bogdanovic’s start to his Jazz season was just the opposite. When he touched the ball, he drove to the basket and couldn’t be stopped, nailing his first 3 layups. Bogdanovic missed his next two shots after a short spell on the bench and then he took a tumble in the 2nd quarter.

Bogdanovic was opposite the Jazz’s team bench when he toppled backward on to his rear end. He needed help off the floor and the Jazz public relations staff said Bogdanovic had a sprained ankle and would be questionable for the 2nd half. Bogdanovic toughed it out and started the 3rd quarter.

“I was sick to my stomach when he went down,” said Snyder. “He came out ready to go in the 3rd quarter. He wasn’t 100%. That’s a competitor.”

Bogdanovic missed his first three shots of the 2nd half, but then buried two free throws after he was fouled doing what he did earlier in the game, driving to the basket. Bogdanovic’s next two shots were a steal and layup and a contested mid-range jumper that he drained. Bogdanovic then nailed a 3-pointer with 5:25 left to give the Jazz a 5 point lead.

“He came out and had some big-time baskets in a crunch time situation even after rolling his ankle. That just shows you the kind of player and mindset he has,” Conley said.

Bogdanovic joked in the locker room that if it wasn’t the first game of the regular season, he may not have played in the 2nd half.  He did play and he finished with 16 points and 3 rebounds.

Conley said it’s encouraging that the team got a lot of great looks tonight and said that you can bet on the fact that the Jazz will start hitting more of them.

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