Jazz Vs. Clippers: Game Night
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Welcome to KSL Sports game night as the Utah Jazz face the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Jazz are still in pursuit of their first home win of the season after falling to the Phoenix Suns last night 106-95. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers are undefeated on the road with wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets to begin the season.
Follow this page for updates throughout the night including pregame availability, starting lineups, and quarter by quarter updates.
Donovan Mitchell has struggled mightily to open the season offensively. The guard is shooting just 34 percent from the floor and 29 percent from three through the team’s first four games.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder said even though Mitchell has proven himself as a scorer on the highest levels of the sport, he’s not beyond introspection when working through a slump.
“He’s grown and evolved as a player, but there’s always opportunities to look at how you’re playing and figure out the things that you can do to improve your play,” Snyder said. ” I don’t think that’s any different. So, we’ll continue to coach him and he’ll continue to work. That’ll be the process.”
The team has been light on both practice time and shoot around opportunities this season. With daily testing and travel, finding opportunities to gather as a team are limited. On back to backs, it becomes even more difficult.
“As a general rule on the back to backs, you don’t really try to get fresh legs,” Snyder said. “More rest, more sleep. And, a different type of preparation.”
Tonight is the first of three home game back to back series for the Jazz through the first half of the season. The Jazz will host the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks on January 26 and 27. Then, the team will host the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat on February 12 and 13.
Better start for the Jazz than they have seen in any of the last three games. Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic both hit their first shots which is a good sign for the game.
Bogdanovic specifically has been aggressively looking for his shot. That’s important since he brings value as a floor spacer even if he isn’t making shots.
The Jazz have three threes in the first 10 minutes of the game. They simply weren’t generating good looks against Phoenix and it prevented the offensive from ever really getting going.
One of the things that the Jazz are doing differently is running the floor, and it has compressed the Clippers defense, leading to open transition threes.
The Jazz offense really started to click in the second half of the first quarter, largely thanks to Mike Conley’s play with the second unit. He’s got 12 points in the first quarter.
Good defensive quarter from the Jazz also. They held the Clippers to just 19 points, largely by protecting the rim and the Clippers having a bad shooting night from Paul George who is 0-4 to start the game.
The Jazz opened the quarter with back to back made threes to build an 18 point lead. Jazz haven’t had that type of cushion to work with since the Blazers game to start the season.
Clippers are forced to push as a result and can’t play their usual game. The Jazz get to play a little freer running the floor and taking a few more high upside shots.
The Clippers have been sparked by aggressive defense from Patrick Beverly in the second quarter and it’s flustered the Jazz less experienced playmakers.
Conley doesn’t struggle with the aggressive stuns from Beverly, but both Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson have been suckered into deflected passes or charging fouls.
Mitchell hasn’t had a good second quarter in general.
The Clippers closed the Jazz 18 point lead to just one on a Kawhi Leonard drive, but to the Jazz credit they didn’t fold.
Mitchell rebounded from his bad second quarter with a strong final two minutes drawing fouls, hitting a three, and finding Conley for another open three to give him an 18 point first half.
The Jazz closed the second quarter on an 8-0 run and lead by nine at the break.
After closing the first half on an 8-0 run, the Jazz open the second half on a 9-0 run thanks to threes from Mitchell, Conley, and Royce O’Neale.
17-0 from the Jazz to rebuild an 18 point lead after it dropped to one in the second quarter.
Conley continues to be the forgotten man by the Clippers defense as he seemingly is wide open anytime he wants to shoot.
He’s up to 26 points on 6-11 shooting from deep. The Jazz need to get a big night from one of Conley, Bogdanovic, or Clarkson every night in addition to what they get from Mitchell and Gobert, Conley has been the guy tonight.
The Jazz closed the quarter well, which has been key int his game. They’ve opened and closed quarters well which has given them enough leeway for stretches to watch their lead fluctuate without panicking.
The pick and roll play between Favors and Ingles has been terrific and carried the Jazz to a big lead entering the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter has belonged to the Clippers who trimmed the Jazz lead to just 4 after three free-throws from Nic Batum.
The Clippers found a groove offensively for the first time tonight and the jazz are hanging on fir dear life.
A Paul George three drops the Jazz lead to just 1.
The Jazz once again answer the Clippers run and a three-pointer by Conley off a great pass from Mitchell has the Jazz up six with 90 seconds left in the game.
Gobert finishes the layup with fellow countryman Batum draped all over him, and the Jazz are going to hand the Clippers their first road loss of the season.
The Jazz win 106-100. Big night from Conley.
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