Jazz Improve To 3-0 On The Road With Blowout Over Spurs
Jan 3, 2021, 8:25 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz made quick work of the shorthanded San Antonio Spurs in a 130-109 victory to stay unbeaten on the road at 3-0.
The game was decided at the three-point line as the Jazz knocked down an impressive 21 threes on 41 attempts, while the Spurs made just six of their 19 deep balls.
It’s a promising start for the Jazz who have six games remaining on their seven-game road trip.
The @utahjazz made a LOT of threes in their win over the @spurs. #TakeNote https://t.co/BaV5p3k99X
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 4, 2021
Bogdanovic And Mitchell Emerge
After painfully slow starts to the season, the Jazz got strong games from both Donovan Mitchell and Bojan Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic was particularly impactful for the Jazz finishing with 28 points on 10-13 shooting and 6-7 from three. The forward was the catalyst for the blowout in the third quarter where he scored 14 points on a perfect 5-5 shooting, including 4-4 from deep.
Bogdanovic entered the game shooting 30 percent from both the floor and the three-point line despite getting plenty of good looks in the team’s first five games. Strangely the sharpshooter’s numbers have been terrific on the road where he was averaging 19 points and shooting 41 percent from the floor and 45 percent from three in the team’s first two games away from Utah.
Bogey was on 🔥 in the third quarter.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 4, 2021
“We started the game with the offense for me,” Bogdanovic said. “I got in the game with the easy two and then two free throws, so that really, really helped me to get my rhythm back.”
Mitchell, meanwhile, had 22 points on 8-17 shooting and 5-9 from three. Outside of the first quarter when Mitchell had a team-high eight points, the Jazz weren’t overreliant on the All-Star guard’s offensive play to win the game.
Mitchell’s offensive role tends to grow throughout the game where the Jazz rely heavily on him as a closer, but with the game out of hand for most of the second half, he was able to be more judicious with his scoring and utilized his playmaking to account for nine assists.
Jazz Winning On The Road
The Jazz are undefeated on the road in their first three games away from home, but the streak of hot play stretches back to last season.
The team was 21-16 last year as the road team, tied for the fourth-best record in the West. They were even better if you drop the 1-3 “road” record while playing in the bubble in Orlando.
The Jazz have always been one of the NBA’s elite home teams with opponents having to play at altitude, often on the second night of back-to-back game as a hub throughout the West, but winning on the road has been a big boost for the Jazz over the last 14 months.
Coach Quin Snyder pointed to two areas where he’s seen his team play well that has allowed them to win away from Vivint Arena.
“If you defend, you give yourself a chance on the road to be successful, regardless of how you shoot the ball,” Snyder said.
The Jazz held the Spurs to just 41 percent shooting from the floor and 31 percent from three. Rudy Gobert led the effort with six blocks, his highest single-game total since November 22, 2019.
two blocks on one possession? two blocks on one possession.#TakeNote | @rudygobert27 pic.twitter.com/Ijkcplhf30
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) January 4, 2021
Snyder also said good road teams don’t beat themselves by playing carelessly, though the Jazz were far from perfect in San Antonio.
“Ironically tonight I thought we turned the ball over too much,” Snyder said of the Jazz 19 turnovers. “But we started to find those situations where it was happening and did a good job of adjusting how we were playing and passing the ball.”
The Jazz made up for their high turnover total with 29 assists for the game, their best outing of the season.
Assists have been key for the Jazz in their four wins this season. The team averages 26.2 assists in their four wins this season and just 15.5 in their losses.
Like assists, three-pointers have been a harbinger of Jazz success this season as the Jazz are 3-1 this season when they make more threes than their opponent.
It’s a good sign for the Jazz as they have attempted 52 more threes this season than their opponents in just six outings, including a 22 attempt differential against San Antonio.
The Spurs roster isn’t built particularly well to shoot threes, basing much of his offense around non-shooter DeMar DeRozan, but coach Gregg Popovich hasn’t ever been a big fan of the shot.
The @Spurs are 3-12 from three for the game and the @UtahJazz are 8-13 in the third quarter.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) January 4, 2021
“Now you look at a stat sheet after a game and the first thing you look at is the threes.,” Popovich famously said in 2018. “If you made threes and the other team didn’t, you win. You don’t even look at the rebounds or the turnovers or how much transition D was involved. You don’t even care.”
The Jazz did outrebound the Spurs 57-45 but losing the turnover battle 19-7 should have titled the game heavily in San Antonio’s favor.
Instead, the Spurs being held to just six made threes cost them the game. Furthermore, 19 three-point attempts are the fewest by any team in the NBA so far this season.
The Jazz now travel to Brooklyn on the second stop of their seven-game road trip. The Jazz will face the Nets Tuesday who are off to a slow start to the season at just 3-4.