Jazz Avoid Letdown, Beat Thunder Behind Bogdanovic’s Big Night
SALT LAKE CITY – The Jazz once again saw a huge second-half lead trimmed to single digits in the fourth quarter, but avoided a letdown with a 116-103 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Three clutch Bojan Bogdanovic threes, part of his franchise-record 11 makes, helped the Jazz avoid another late-game collapse en route to 35 points.
With the win, the Jazz guaranteed themselves a winning record on their current five-game road trip.
Bogdanovic’s Brilliant Night
It was clear the Jazz weren’t going to have another poor shooting night as they did against the New Orleans Pelicans in Oklahoma City.
The Jazz knocked down eight of their first 10 three-point attempts to jump out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter, including four makes from Bogdanovic.
But as the rest of the team cooled off in the second half, the Croatian sharpshooter never slowed en route to a career-best 11 makes from downtown.
“Me and Royce hit a couple of threes right away,” Bogdanovic said of his performance. “We kind of heated up the first quarter right away and then the rest of the game was kind of easy.”
Bogdanovic’s 11 threes are the most in the NBA this season, and the most since Steph Curry did it in May of last season.
Though double-digit three-point makes are growing more common in the modern NBA, 11 makes is still an extremely rare feat over the history of the league.
Bogdanovic’s night represents only the 27th time any player has ever made 11 threes in a game, and he’s only the 14th player to reach the number.
The Jazz forward is also the second-oldest player to ever hit at least 11 threes, trailing only Curry in the history books.
Curry, Kobe Bryant, Donyell Marshall, Klay Thompson, and Zach Lavine are the only other players in league history to make more threes in a game than Bogdanovic.
Jazz Highly Successful Road Trip
The Jazz current road trip was likely going to be defined by how they performed on the booked games in Phoenix and Dallas.
And, Monday’s game will still likely paint a clearer picture of just how well the Jazz played in their first of two long stretches away from home after the All-Star break.
But regardless of tomorrow’s outcome, the Jazz have guaranteed themselves a winning record on the five-game road trip that has included some tougher than expected teams.
Phoenix was playing without Chris Paul, an obvious boost for the Jazz, but since that game, the Suns have gone 2-1 and pushed the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks until late in the fourth quarter without either Paul or Devin Booker before ultimately falling short with.
The Jazz blew an 18 point lead to the Houston Rockets and needed overtime to beat the previously struggling team. While that collapse felt dire, the Rockets bounced back with an impressive win against the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.
Friday’s ugly loss in New Orleans was the biggest of the season but comes at a point when the Pelicans are playing as well as any team in the NBA. New Orleans had won four games in a row heading into Sunday night’s matchup with the Denver Nuggets.
“They’re playing really well, and they’re really big and they’re long and they played really well,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said looking back the Friday’s loss. “We didn’t play well, and sometimes that happens.”
The Jazz’s matchup with Dallas could have huge implications on the final standings, as with a win, they would own the tiebreaker at the end of the season, regardless of their matchup later this month, and can’t be discounted.
But regardless of their outcome on Monday night, the Jazz getting three wins out of the road trip has to be regarded as a success.
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