Gobert, Mitchell, Ingles Lead Jazz Charge Over Bulls
Mar 22, 2021, 10:41 PM | Updated: Mar 24, 2021, 8:30 pm
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz defeated the Chicago Bulls 120-95 to end their five-game road trip on a high note, winning two games in a row, and three out of five away from Utah.
The Jazz were led by Donovan Mitchell who carried the team early, Joe Ingles who carried the team in the second quarter, and Rudy Gobert who dominated the second half of the game.
Mitchell finished with 30 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Ingles connected on 5-6 three-point attempts finishing with 17 points, while Gobert came up one block short of a triple-double, scoring 21 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and blocking nine shots.
Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 27 points but shot just 10-25 from the floor.
Gobert Almost Breaks Jazz Triple Double Streak
Gobert nearly broke the Jazz 13-year regular season triple-double drought. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year had eight blocks entering the final period, and recorded his ninth block with 8:18 left in the game, but couldn’t get over the hump.
The Jazz streak dates back to 2008 when Carlos Boozer recorded a 22 point, 11 rebound, 10 assist triple-double against the Seattle Sonics.
“When I came in at the end, somebody told me that I had nine,” Gobert said. “I didn’t know, to be honest, so I’ve never tried to chase that, but once I knew that I had nine, it’s like, let’s go for it.”
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) March 23, 2021
Of course, Gobert isn’t the only Jazz player to tease at a triple-double since Boozer last did it.
On February 24, Donovan Mitchell came up two assists short of the feat. That came just two and a half weeks after he fell two rebounds short of the mark.
Mike Conley was one assist shy of recording a triple-double on December 28, bringing the Jazz total to four games this season where players were two individual statistics away from ending the drought.
Since 2008, the Jazz have had 12 outings where a player was within two points, two rebounds, two assists, or two blocks of recording a triple-double.
League-wide, entering Monday night’s game, there had been 872 triple-doubles since the Jazz last recorded one. To compare it baseball, there have been six perfect games pitched, since the Jazz last had a triple-double.
At this point, the streak is more of a statistical anomaly than a result of the Jazz strategy or style of play, and one with no clear end in sight.
Gobert is now averaging 4.5 blocks per game since returning from the All-Star break, up more than a block and a half from 2.8 average entering the night.
Jazz Get Off To Quick Start
The Jazz were able to get off to an unusually hot start, something the team has been lacking over the last 10 games.
Over the previous 10 games entering their matchup with the Bulls, the Jazz had a -4.9 net rating which ranked 21st in the league during the stretch.
Against Chicago, the Jazz held the Bulls to just 23 points and led by six after 12 minutes.
“The energy, the effort, […] and the focus,” Mitchell said of what felt different about the Jazz start. “You look at Washington and then look at this game and it’s polar opposites.”
Quin Snyder pointed to one issue specifically as part of the @utahjazz slow starts.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) March 23, 2021
The Jazz hadn’t led after the first quarter in any of their previous four road games, consistently having to fight back from deficits over the final three quarters of their games.
Before the game, Snyder said he wanted his team to take better care of the basketball, and focus on getting stops to lead to better offensive opportunities.
“If you’re taking the ball out of the net becomes more difficult to score, so I think if we get stops, we’ll have more rhythm in the early part of the game offensively.”
The Jazz turned the ball over just twice in the first quarter, as opposed to their 4.2 average over the last 10 games while holding the Bulls to 9-23 shooting.
After building a six point lead in the first quarter, the Jazz quickly extended the lead to 11, and never led by less than double-digits over the final 34:20 of the game, completing a blowout that resembled the wins the team easily accrued during the first half of the season.
Joe Ingles Is On Fire
Saying Ingles is in a zone would be selling him short. Over his last four games, the guard is averaging 21 points per game while shooting a staggering 28-42 from the floor, good for 66 percent.
More impressively, Ingles has connected on 22-30 from the three-point line, an absurd 73 percent on 7.5 attempts per game.
“I told you guys in the summer my shot for good,” Ingles said. “You probably believe me because I bricked a few, but I honestly said it whenever I said it in the preseason for a reason.”
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) March 23, 2021
Ingles ranks second in the NBA in true shooting percentage at 74 percent, just .7 behind Brooklyn Nets big man DeAndre Jordan for the best mark in the NBA.
For the season, Ingles is shooting 54 percent from the floor, 50 percent from three, and 88 percent from the free-throw line, and threatening to become only the second player in NBA history to break the 50/50/90 barrier.
Ingles is looking to become the first Jazz player to shoot better than 50 percent from the three-point line since Kyle Korver did it in 2010.
The Jazz now return home to face the Brooklyn Nets in the first game of a four-game homestand.
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