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Ranking Every 2019-20 Utah Jazz Game: Games 50-38

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) celebrates against the Portland Trail Blazers in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. Courtesy of Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz, like the rest of the NBA, are on hiatus amid the coronavirus outbreak that has sidelined professional sports across the country. Whether the league will continue its season this summer, or whether the season will be considered a loss remains to be seen.

With 64 games under the Jazz belt, and a record of 41-23, leading the team to the fourth seed in the Western Conference, there are reasons for both optimism and pessimism about the team’s season. With that in mind, KSL Sports has ranked all 64 games from the Jazz in order of worst to best. This is a ranking of games 50-38.

Are the Jazz best losses better than the team’s worst wins?

You can find Games 64-51 here.

50. Jazz Shook By Thunder 104-90 At Home

After losing three straight games against the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Lakers, the Jazz bounced back with a win over the Memphis Grizzlies that seemed to get the losing monkey off of the teams back.

Instead, Chris Paul and the Oklahoma City Thunder walked into Utah and put on a demoralizing clinic against the Jazz, leading by 17 points after three quarters. The Jazz had no answer for Paul, Dennis Schroder, or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander who combined for 63 points and just three turnovers.

49. Jazz Sidelined By Raptors 101-92 In Utah

In the Jazz final game before the coronavirus hiatus, the team’s offense was anything but dangerous. The Raptors held the Jazz to just 92 points and no starter managed to score more than 15 points. Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Rudy Gobert combined to shoot just 11-40 from the floor for 35 points.

The team’s defensive effort allowed them to hang around but ultimately clutch play by Kyle Lowry sunk the Jazz just before league play was suspended.

48. Jazz Blitzed By Rockets 120-110 In Salt Lake

This game followed the script of a lot of Jazz losses this season. The teams played relatively equally in the first half before a blowout third quarter created an insurmountable deficit entering the fourth quarter.

The Rocket doubled up the Jazz 38-19 in the third, turning a four-point halftime lead into a 15 point deficit heading into the final period. James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 72 points as the Jazz recent history of struggling against Mike D’Antoni system continued to rear its ugly head.

47. Jazz Outlasted By Pelicans In New Orleans 138-132

From here on out, it’s hard to say any loss the Jazz have had this season is a bad loss, including this overtime thriller in New Orleans. The Jazz were gifted an opportunity at the end of regulation on a phantom foul call that sent Gobert to the free-throw line with a chance to win the game.

Instead, Gobert made just one of two free throws, allowing the game to go to OT, where the Jazz stars were outshone by Brandon Ingram. Ingram scored 49 points, edging Donovan Mitchell’s 46 in one of the better NBA games this season.

46. Jazz Come Up Unlucky Against Celtics 114-103 In Utah

Another example of a top-shelf performance from Mitchell undone by inefficiency from the supporting cast.

The Jazz guard outdueled fellow third-year All-Star Jayson Tatum 37-33, but Marcus Smart’s three second-half three-pointers proved to be the difference. Perhaps more troubling, the loss represented the Jazz continued struggles in front of their home crowd this season.

45. Jazz Clipped in Los Angeles 105-94

Losing on the road to the team many experts think is the favorite to the NBA Championship is very forgivable. The difficult aspect of this Jazz loss was the fact that the team entered the fourth quarter with a four-point lead, only to allow a 40 point fourth quarter, and ultimately lose by 11.

Mitchell went head to head with Kawhi Leonard, outscoring the two-time finals MVP 36-30, but 18 Clippers offensive rebounds sunk the Jazz.

44. Jazz Suffer First Loss Of Season To The Lakers 95-86

In just the second game of the season, it was clear the Jazz were actively trying to work out offensive issues that would eventually be changed by a radical roster shakeup.

The Jazz managed just 86 points in Los Angeles, shooting 39 percent from the floor and 30 percent from three, while LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for 53 points. The team was without forward Bojan Bogdanovic who has proved to be one of the brightest surprises for the team this season.

43. Jazz Run Afoul In Milwaukee 122-118

In what easily could have been the team’s best win of the season, the Jazz came up just short in Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 50 points, making 19 trips to the free-throw line, knocking down 9-10 in the second half.

The Jazz made 21-45 three-point shots that allowed them to hang around but ultimately couldn’t slow the Greek-Freak and the Bucks.

42. Jazz Shaken Up In Miami 107-104

Just two days before Christmas, the Jazz experienced one of the key turning points of the season. Just before tipoff in Miami, the team traded guard Dante Exum to Cleveland for microwave scorer Jordan Clarkson. After the game, the Jazz waived forward Jeff Green, clearing way for a new rotation on the roster.

The Jazz lost by three points in Miami who at the time were one of the league’s best teams playing at home, but it was clear the team was entering a new era. Tyler Herro outplaying Mitchell in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in a game that signaled a new beginning for the team.

THE WINS

41. Jazz Sneak Past Wizards 129-119 At Home

There are no bad wins in the NBA, but sometimes teams leave a game with a victory without any reassurance that the team is playing particularly well.

After four straight losses, the Jazz eeked past the Wizards with a 129-119 win, but trailed at the half and allowed Bradley Beal to score 42 points. Ultimately the Jazz got the victory, but it didn’t leave Jazz fans with a confident taste in their mouth.

40. Jazz Edge Warriors 113-109 In Utah

At times, the Jazz have left their fanbase wanting more, even during good times. That may never have been more apparent than after a four point win in Utah over the miserable Golden State Warriors.

The Jazz allowed the Warriors to cut an 18 point lead to just two in the final seconds of the game, led by former Jazzman Alec Burks before finally securing the win. It became clear early in the season that the Jazz were vulnerable against teams that played hard, and Warriors did exactly that.

39. Jazz Calm Grizzlies 103-94 In Memphis

In the midst of losing five games in six outings, the Jazz broke up the streak by beating the Grizzlies in Memphis. While Memphis would make the playoffs if they were to start today, at the time, it felt like a game the Jazz should have easily controlled.

The Jazz trailed by 15 at the half as it felt like the wheels were starting to fall off of the season. Bogdanovic’s 26 second-half points pushed the Jazz past Memphis, but it was clear the team was not clicking on all cylinders.

38. Jazz Bite Timberwolves in Minnesota 103-95

As the Jazz were struggling through the early stretch of the season, they got a bounceback win in Minnesota to split a home and home series with the Timberwolves.

The Jazz bench combined for just 16 points on 5-21 shooting, something that would become a prevalent theme over the first three months of the year. Home and home series are almost guaranteed to be split 1-1, so the Jazz did little more than take care of business on the road.

You can find Games 64-51 here.

Stay tuned to KSLSports.com as we rank all 64 Utah Jazz games this season from best to worst.

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