Jazz Down Clippers, Get Back-To-Back Wins in Los Angeles
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz swept their two-game series in Los Angeles downing the Lakers on Friday before beating the Clippers 110-102 late Sunday night.
Sexton’s 22 points were his season high in a Jazz uniform as the team moved to 8-3 on the season.
Clarkson Out, Sexton In Won Jazz The Game
Despite having 23 points to lead all Jazz scorers, Will Hardy made a gutsy decision to pull Jordan Clarkson out of the game in the fourth quarter.
Hardy took Clarkson out of the game with 6:50 left in the game and the Jazz trailing 93-89.
The team’s offense had ground to a halt against the Clippers’ aggressive defense and the Jazz’s usual pass-happy attack was rendered ineffective.
That’s when Sexton took over, utilizing his speed off the dribble and cutting to the hoop.
"I'm just thankful to be back and thankful to be out here… 11 games, I'm here. I made it."
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 7, 2022
“I love the fact that our team just keeps going and no matter who’s in the game,” Hardy said.
Sexton earned five trips to the free-throw line, finished a layup through contact, and dunked the ball off of a Kelly Olynyk assist slashing from the weak side of the floor.
The guard’s confidence has been noticeable over the last five games where he’s averaged 18.4 points while attempting 24 three-pointers and 21 free throws during the stretch.
“At the end of the day I might be in in the fourth quarter, I might not,” Sexton said. “So it’s just pretty much staying ready and just being present throughout the entire game.”
The high number of threes and free throw attempts has allowed Sexton to score efficiently, owning a 63.7 true shooting percentage over the last five outings.
If Sexton's the second best player in the Donovan Mitchell trade he's a heck of an addition.
Last five games:
18 points tonight.
— Ben Anderson (@BensHoops) November 7, 2022
But, Sexton wouldn’t have had that opportunity to close the game against the Clippers had Hardy not been willing to pull Clarkson, the Jazz second-leading scorer this season behind Lauri Markkanen.
“These guys want to win,” Hardy said. “So they don’t care who’s out there as long as we get the win and we’re just proud of the group, and the way they stick together.”
It’s a credit to Sexton for staying ready to take over the game, to Clarkson for his willingness to take a backseat for the greater good of the team, and to Hardy for having the trust of his players to make those adjustments.
Jazz Overcame A Bad Performance
Through the Jazz eight wins this season, they’ve generally played consistently well.
They had to overcome a 17 point deficit against the Minnesota Timberwolves, a sign they weren’t great for 48 minutes. And yes, they blew a 17 point second half lead to the New Orleans Pelicans in the fourth quarter before winning over overtime.
But in their wins, they’ve rarely had bad performances.
Against the Clippers, there’s an argument to be made the Jazz the played poorly, and still found a way to squeak out a tough victory.
The Jazz turned the ball over 21 times for a total of 25 Clippers points. They were outscored 60-34 in the paint. The Clippers beat the Jazz 20-6 in fastbreak points. And, they’d scored just 29 points over the first 18 and a half minutes of the second half.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 7, 2022
That’s not a great recipe in the final game of a three-game road swing, down a starter, on the front end of a back-to-back.
Yet, the Jazz found a way to get the win.
There are some glaring numbers that lean in the Jazz favor showing how they left LA with a win Sunday night.
The Jazz shot 25-26 from the free-throw line to the Clippers 8-13. They outscored LA 15-6 on second-chance points, and knocked down 15 threes to the Clippers eight. The Jazz also won the rebounding battle 42-32,
Still, the Jazz played poorly enough to lose this game, and after letting their 10 point lead dissolve into a four point fourth quarter deficit, they probably should have.
But, this team hasn’t been doing what it’s supposed to all year, and the win over the Clippers was just the latest example.
- Walkers Kessler is the NBA’s third-leading shot blocker off the bench this season behind Orlando Magic center Bol Bol and New York Knicks big man Isaiah Hartenstein.
- Lauri Markkanen’s nine field goal attempts were his fewest in a Jazz uniform, but he finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, and three assists.
- Kelly Olynyk has had five or more fouls in six of the Jazz 11 games this season.
- Six of the ten players in the Jazz daily rotation are shooting 37.5 percent or better from the three-point line.
- Through 11 games the Jazz have the eighth-best ratings on offense and defense.
- The Jazz have started 8-3 each of the last two seasons.
Jazz Next Broadcast
The Jazz and the Lakers will tip off at 8:15 pm MT at Vivint Arena. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. The game will also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.
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