UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Lose Largest Fourth Quarter Lead Yet In Home Finale

Apr 8, 2022, 11:16 PM
Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton rebounds the ball over Utah Jazz forwards Danuel House Jr. and Bo...
Phoenix Suns center DeAndre Ayton rebounds the ball over Utah Jazz forwards Danuel House Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – As if fans needed one more reminder, the Utah Jazz have really struggled to hold onto massive fourth quarter leads in games this season.

The Jazz took a 92-75 lead into the fourth quarter but watched it quickly dissolve away amid a miserable shooting performance and mediocre defense as they fell 111-105.

Devin Booker scored 33 points, while Mikal Bridges scored nine in the fourth quarter to undue the Jazz one final time in Salt Lake City.

Jazz Save Biggest Fourth Quarter Loss For Last

It’s fitting the Jazz saved their biggest blown lead for the final home game of the season leaving fans in the arena with one lasting bitter taste ahead of the playoffs.

What’s most amazing is how quickly, and how familiarly it all fell apart.

Rudy Gobert converted a layup and drew a foul with 13 seconds left in the third quarter, and after missing the free-throw Danuel House Jr. grabbed the offensive rebound and found Jordan Clarkson for a buzzer-beating three to give the Jazz a 17 point lead heading into the final period.

Then, it’s as if the first 36 minutes of the game had never happened.

The Jazz converted just 3-20 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter, had as many turnovers as made shots, and got outrebounded 16-6 over the final 12 minutes to gift wrap a victory for the Suns.

In the fourth quarter, Donovan Mitchell shot 0-6, Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic each shot 1-6, Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gobert, and Jordan Clarkson combined to shoot 0-4, while Danuel House Jr. failed to record any statistics in the final eight minutes of the period.

Gobert converted 5-6 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, and Mitchell didn’t commit any turnovers, both improvements from the team’s previous losses.

But, the league’s leading rebounder recorded just one in the final quarter, and their leading scorer managed just one point in the final 12 minutes of the game.

Now, any hope that the Jazz had fixed their fourth-quarter failures before the end of the regular season has been dashed, and the team will have to hope they can exorcise those demons in the postseason.

Jazz Can Still Fall To Sixth Seed

With the loss, the Jazz fall into a tie in the standings with the Denver Nuggets, and can now still fall to the sixth seed in the playoffs over the final two days of the season.

The Jazz will face the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday at the same time the Nuggets are hosting the Los Angeles Lakers.

A Nuggets win would give them a 49-33 record, while a Jazz loss would drop them to 48-34, giving Denver a one-game lead over Utah in the final standings.

If both teams either win or lose, the Jazz own the tiebreaker over the Nuggets having swept the season series four games to zero.

The Jazz also won’t have the advantage of knowing which they would face entering Sunday’s games as neither the Golden State Warriors nor the Dallas Mavericks will have locked up the third and fourth seeds before Sunday’s finale.

The Warriors sit a half-game ahead of the Mavericks but have two games left to play this season while Dallas has just one. Golden State plays at the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday and at the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

The Mavericks meanwhile finish the season on Sunday at home against San Antonio.

The Warriors and the Mavericks tip-off their season finale’s at 7:30 pm MT, the same time as both the Jazz’s and the Nuggets’ final games.

The Blown Double-Digit Leads

Going back to Quin Snyder’s 19-minute opening statement before the Jazz game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, the coach asked for more attention to context when discussing the Jazz’s blown double-digit leads.

“I think we can all agree a 10 point lead in the first quarter is different than a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter,” Snyder said.

That was evidenced by the Suns’ 11-0 lead to open the game that the Jazz erased, and turned into a 17 point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

But, with another massive lead lost, here’s an updated look at the team’s blown lead this season.

The list below shows where and who the Jazz lost to, the latest quarter in which quarter they held a double-digit lead, and the biggest lead they held in that quarter.

@ Magic (4th, 10)

vs. Grizzlies (3rd, 10)

vs. Pelicans (2nd, 11)

vs. Spurs (3rd, 16)

vs. Wizards (1st 10)

@ Raptors (3rd, 15)

@ Pistons (3rd, 10)

@ Lakers (3rd, 10)

vs. Rockets (3rd, 13)

@ Lakers (4th, 12)

@ Spurs (4th, 15)

vs. Bucks (3rd, 11)

@ Mavericks (2nd, 11)

@ Clippers (4th, 16)

@ Warriors (4th, 16)

vs. Suns (4th, 17)

As you can see, the Jazz 17 point lead against the Suns in the fourth quarter is their largest of the season, barely edging out the losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, both of which happened in the last 11 days.

Here’s a breakdown of the games they’ve lost after leading by double-digits by quarter.

1st Quarter: Once: vs. the Wizards.

2nd Quarter: Twice: vs. the Pelicans, and at the Mavericks.

3rd Quarter: Seven times: vs. the Grizzlies, vs. the Spurs, at the Raptors, at the Pistons, at the Lakers, vs. the Rockets, and vs. the Bucks.

4th Quarter: Six times: at the Magic, at the Lakers, at the Spurs, at the Clippers, at the Warriors, and home vs. the Suns.

Admittedly, it’s difficult to build double-digit leads in the first quarter, hence the disproportionate number, but the Jazz have six times as many losses after leading by double-digits in the fourth quarter than they do when leading by double-digits in the first alone.

They have 13 losses after leading by double-digits in the second half, more than four times as many as the three losses they have after leading by double-digits in the first half.

Seven of the Jazz’s blown double-digit leads have come at home while nine have come on the road.

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