UTAH JAZZ

Jazz At Thunder: Game Night

Dec 28, 2020, 5:25 PM | Updated: 8:19 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)...
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Welcome to KSL Sports Game Night as the Utah Jazz travel to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the third game of the regular season. The Jazz are coming off a home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Saturday night while the Thunder won their season opener over the Charlotte Hornets.

Follow this page throughout the night for live updates before the game, highlights, and stories on the biggest moments from the night.

The Jazz haven’t won a regular season matchup in Oklahoma City since Halloween night 2010. The team is looking to snap that streak against the new-look Thunder.

Pregame Quotes

The game marks the first time the Jazz have returned to Oklahoma City since Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 just minutes before the two teams were set to tip-off on March 11.

Gobert’s test results sent professional sports across the globe into a tailspin.

“You can’t help but remember that evening,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of the team’s return. “It was significant for both teams, really for the league. But the contrast between that point, and where we are now, the season, the hiatus, the bubble, coming back and playing again, it seems like a lifetime since that happened.”

Gobert and Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell were the first two NBA players to test positive for the virus. In addition to the league suspending play, the Jazz had to worry about Gobert’s condition.

“He was really sick for two weeks. He had all the symptoms that you read about,” Snyder said. “He was feeling more remorseful about what had happened than he was about  how he was feeling.”

Bogdanovic’s Offense

Bojan Bogdanovic had one of his worst nights in a Jazz uniform in the team’s loss to the Timberwolves. The forward finished with nine points on 3-16 shooting while committing a five-second violation in the games closing moments that cost the Jazz an opportunity to tie the game.

Though Bogdanovic connected on just 1-5 three-point attempts, he was even less efficient driving the hoop where he connected on just 2-11 shots inside the arc.

Despite the struggle, Snyder didn’t seem concerned about his Croatian star or his multi-faceted offensive attack.

“If you’ve got a hitter that doesn’t hit a curveball, you throw a curve,” Snyder said on how Bogdanovic an approach different defensive looks. “Bojan can throw a curveball. He’s got a fastball, he’s got a changeup, It makes him hard to guard.”

Starting Lineups

First Quarter

Hideous start for the Jazz and they’ve already dug themselves a double-digit deficit just three and a half minutes into the game.

Mike Conley has all four of the Jazz points, but the defense has given up four threes and an easy push shot from to the Thunder. Surprising to see another slow start for the Jazz after Saturday night’s debacle.

Bojan Bogdanovic and Donovan Mitchell continue their shooting woes from last game. Mitchell has opened the game 0-4 while Bogdanovic is shooting just 0-3.

Combined the Jazz two leading scorers from last season are just 9-46 from the floor over their last five quarters, good for just 19 percent.

The Jazz closed the quarter well as their bench outdueled the Thunder. Every Jazz starer had a negative plus-minus while every bench player was positive.

The opposite was true for the Thunder, but they are forced to play rookies Theo Maledon and Alexsej Pokusevski so it shouldn’t be an enormous shock.

Jazz down 24-22 at the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

The Jazz bench continues to keep the game close midway through the second period as the Jazz trail 35-33 with just under seven minutes left in the half.

Mitchell and Bogdanovic continue to struggle from the floor combining to hit just 1-12 from the floor. Mitchell still hasn’t scored while Bogdanovic has 4 points.

Jazz are going to have a long night if they can’t find a way to get one of their two scorers going.

Mitchell gets a quick five points and it helped the Jazz keep the game close going into the half. At the break, The Jazz trail the Thunder 52-49.

Jazz are led by Conley who has 13 points. Lu Dort leads the Thunder with 13.

Third Quarter

The Jazz come out of the third quarter guns blazing and have made five threes after making just four in the entire first half.

Jazz were 4-16 a the break but have hit 5-6 to start the third in just 3:21. Jazz up 66-61.

After the hot start to the quarter, the Jazz get turnover happy and let the Thunder erase the lead with easy layups.

The Jazz repeatedly turned the ball over getting caught in the air of just carelessly dribbling into traffic. Bizarre to see this team with this much experience not blending well together.

Jazz down 87-84 at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The Jazz are showing a lot of the same issues against the Thunder that they did against the Timberwolves on Saturday.

First, they just look sluggish, leading to bad turnovers and easy layups.

Second, their rotations and closeouts are slow so the Thunder are getting easy open looks by passing around the perimeter or driving and kicking out.

Jazz are on a 7-0 run and trail by just 2, but they are going to have to play a lot sharper to close this game.

After a 7-0 run, the Jazz put together another 9-0 run and have taken eh lead 102-100.

Mitchell has hit back-to-back jump shots to give the Jazz the lead as the Thunder defense appears to be losing steam. The Jazz guard scored on four straight possessions against Dort including the two jumpers, a back door layup, and free-throws.

Mitchell ends up scoring the final 12 points of the game for the Jazz and they win 110-109. After a really tough three and a half corners Mitchell was fabulous down the stretch.

Big win for the Jazz.

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