UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Thrash Depleted Magic Squad On Record Crushing Night

Apr 3, 2021, 11:03 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2021, 9:33 pm
Joe Ingles - Donovan Mitchell - Utah Jazz - Orlando Magic...
Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles (2) and guard Donovan Mitchell (45) laugh together after Mitchell sank a 3-pointer during the game against the Orlando Magic at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 3, 2021. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz thrashed a depleted Orlando Magic squad 137-91 to earn the fourth-largest victory in team history.

The Jazz hit 26 threes, tying the second-most in team history while setting an NBA record with 18 made threes in the first half. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 22 points on 6-7 shooting from deep, while Joe Ingles added 17 points on 5-7 shooting of his own.

The Magic opened the game with only eight available players after a rash of injuries and illness has sidelined most of the roster. To make matters worse, center Mo Bamba was pulled from the game after 11 minutes while also suffering a non-COVID illness.

Jazz Record-Setting Three-Point Shooting Vs. Magic

The Jazz three-point shooting was otherworldly against the Magic, knocking down a league record 18 first-half threes while tying a franchise record for made threes in a quarter with nine in both the first and second quarters.

But the records didn’t stop there.

The Jazz set the league record for the largest discrepancy in made threes in a single game by connecting on 24 more made deep balls than the Magic. Orlando made just two threes, each of which came in the first half before shooting 0-11 in the second half.

The Magic eight percent connection rate is tied for the ninth-worst outing in NBA history among teams to attempt at least 23 three-pointers in a game.

The Jazz attempted 55 three-pointers on the night, tying a franchise-high which they’ve now reached four times in the last eight months.

Ultimately, they would have likely cruised to an NBA record for made three-pointers, eclipsing the Milwaukee Bucks total of 29 set earlier this season, but coach Quin Snyder pulled his starters from the game with 8:03 left in the third quarter.

At that point, the Jazz had connected on 22-35 deep balls and seemed destined to break the record, but the team’s reserves shot just 4-20 over the last 20 minutes of the game to fall short of the record.

Narrative Shifting On Bogdanovic

It may be tie to start shifting the narrative on Jazz forward Bojan Bogdanovic. The forward has struggled mightily this year after undergoing season-ending wrist surgery in May of 2020.

Since returning, the forward has seen his statistics drop in every major category including points, rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, and free-throw percentage.

However, there are signs that the sharpshooting forward might be rounding into form.

Over the last three games, Bogdanovic is averaging 19.3 points per game, one of his best scoring stretches of the season and by far his best since the All-Star break. Even better, he’s connecting on 3.3 three-point attempts per game while shooting 10-20 from deep.

In fact, Bogdanovic is now 17-35 from beyond the arc over his last seven games and connected on fewer than 40 percent of his attempts in only two of the seven outings.

“You can probably tell he threw his hands in the air and I think he yelled some Croatian swear words which was nice to see,” teammate Joe Ingles said of Bogdanovic’s recent relief.

Considering Bogdanovic had back-to-back outings of just three points in two of the Jazz’s last five games it’s hard to fully proclaim that the veteran is back to playing at the level he was last season.

However, the forward has scored at least 17 points in five of the team’s last seven games, part of the Jazz bigger nine-game win streak and any additional firepower for the best team in the league will be welcome.

Jazz Tough Upcoming Stretch

After a somewhat cushy schedule over the last two weeks, the Jazz quality of opponent will rise sharply beginning Monday with the Dallas Mavericks on the road. The team then travels to Phoenix on Wednesday before a quick turnaround facing the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday in Salt Lake City.

Depending on the health of LeBron James and Anthony Davis when the Jazz face the Los Angeles Lakers in the middle of the month, this week could be the toughest stretch on paper for the Jazz for the remainder of the season.

All three opponents are firmly entrenched in the Western Conference playoff chase, with two of the three games being played away from home.

To make matters slightly more worrisome, the Jazz will have to hope whatever flu bug that is traveling through the Magic locker room didn’t find its way into the Utah roster after Mamba was pulled after 11 minutes.

Orlando was already without guard Michael Carter-Williams and big man Khem Birch who were under the weather before the game started, only to see Mamba held out of the second half.

For a team that has only played three different starting lineups this season, the Jazz will have to hope their run of good health continues.

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