UTAH JAZZ

Mike Conley Completes Three-Point Play During Big Half Against Bulls

Mar 16, 2022, 8:12 PM
Mike Conley - Utah Jazz...
Mike Conley #11 of the Utah Jazz in action during the first half of a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 09, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Jazz guard Mike Conley completed a three-point play after hitting a tough shot during a big first half in Utah’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

The Jazz hosted the Bulls at Vivint Arena on Wednesday, March 16.

With 8:49 left in the second quarter, Conley banked a shot off the backboard while getting fouled by Chicago’s Zach LaVine.

Conley’s bucket and subsequent made free throw gave Utah a 35-32 lead.

The play was part of a big first half by Conley, who’s broken out of a recent slump with impressive performances in Utah’s last couple of games.

At halftime, the Jazz owned a 54-49 advantage. Conley had 14 points on 4-8 shooting, including 3-5 from beyond the arc. He added one rebound, four assists, one steal, and a block in 17 minutes on the court.

Conley Breaks Out Of Slump

During Utah’s last game, Conley had his best performance of 2022, scoring 29 points, the most since he matched that total on December 3 against the Boston Celtics.

The guard knocked down 10-13 from the floor including 6-9 from the three-point line to put an end to one of his worst stretches in a Jazz uniform.

Conley had been averaging 9.0 points while shooting 27 percent from the floor and 26 percent from the three-point line over his previous 12 games.

In addition to 29 points, Conley added seven assists and just one turnover finding a rhythm with Rudy Gobert in the pick and roll.

“For a minute there it felt like everyone there was trying to stop me from scoring no matter what, lay-ups were getting blocked, I couldn’t get anything easy,” Conley said. “I just tried to step back and say ‘Hey, these are the areas you have to take your shots.”

Though seemingly every player on the roster has taken turns have down stretches throughout the season, if Conley’s worst basketball is behind him, it’s a promising sign ahead of the postseason.

With the recent high-level play from Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Hassan Whiteside, the Jazz are beginning to have key players hit their stride at the right time.

If Conley can join that contingent, the Jazz may well end up playing their best basketball of the season as the regular season winds down.

“The biggest thing that I’ve talked about is just continuing to be aggressive,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of Conley. “That’s what he was tonight and whether the ball is going in or out, we need that from him and he gave it to us.”

Jazz vs. Bulls

The Jazz appeared as though they were finally getting healthy after the All-Star break, but the injuries are once again adding up with little more than three weeks left in the regular season.

Bogdanovic will miss his second straight game with a calf strain, just one game after missing Friday’s loss in San Antonio with a leg contusion.

House Jr. will miss the game due to a bone bruise in his knee, while Trent Forrest is out with a wrist sprain.

After facing the Bulls, the Jazz will host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday before embarking on a six-game road trip beginning in New York and finishing at Golden State.

Bulls Trying To Fend Of Celtics

The Bulls have been one of the league’s most surprising teams, owning the best record in the East for much of the first half of the season.

However, like the Jazz, the team has been decimated by injuries, specifically to their backcourt, and now find themselves battling to hold onto their spot in the top of the Eastern Conference.

Lonzo Ball underwent knee surgery in late January and has not yet returned to the team, while Patrick Williams suffered a dislocated wrist in October and is hopeful to return to the lineup before the end of the season.

The Bulls are just 2-6 in their last eight games including Monday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Utah’s game against Chicago is broadcast on AT&T SportsNet, NBA League Pass, and The Zone Sports Network.

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Mike Conley Completes Three-Point Play During Big Half Against Bulls