UTAH JAZZ

Jazz Beat Lakers, Own Best Record In West

Nov 8, 2022, 12:03 AM | Updated: 2:44 pm
utah-jazz...
Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, and Rudy Gay of the Utah Jazz celebrate against the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz own the best record in the West after beating the Los Angeles Lakers 139-116 in Salt Lake City on Monday.

Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points while Lauri Markkanen led the team with 23 to outduel the Lakers’ Anthony Davis who finished with 29 to lead all scorers.

With the win, the Jazz moved to 5-0 on the season at Vivint Arena.

Jazz Own Best Record, Top Last Year’s Start

At 9-3, the Jazz own the best record in the West, sitting a full game ahead of the Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, and Denver Nuggets.

And, with the win, the 2022-23 Jazz officially passed the 2021-22 Jazz who opened the year 8-4 through 12 games last season.

It’s a stunning development for a roster that features only one former All-Star (Mike Conley), no All-NBA players, and a first-year head coach.

“I really haven’t thought about that type of stuff this early in the season,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “All of us in the room have been around the NBA long enough to know that that doesn’t mean anything yet.”

Making the Jazz start even more impressive — the team has played the league’s most condensed schedule, squeezing 12 games into 20 days — with seven games being played on the road.

Eight of the Jazz 12 games have come against teams that would currently qualify for the playoffs in the West, with six games being featured in back-to-back sets.

“Winning on the back-to-back is not easy,” Hardy said. “We’re ready to go on the road.”

After 12 games, the Jazz will take the West’s best record on the road. The team will face their first Eastern Conference opponent when they travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Wednesday.

The team then has two days off before another back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday in Washington and Philadelphia.

“We’ve got this three-game road trip coming up and so we need to dig in and there’s a lot of things that we can get better at,” Hardy said. “But I am very proud of our team to be in the position that we’re in at this stage of the season.”

Talen Horton-Tucker’s Best Game

Talen Horton-Tucker had his best game in a Jazz uniform scoring 15 points, grabbing three rebounds, dishing out three assists, and grabbing three steals.

The former Laker is one of the most unique players in the NBA based both on his body and his skillet.

At 6-foot-4, Horton-Tucker has the height of a guard, but at 235-pounds, he has the weight of some of the stronger frontcourt players in the NBA.

His 34-inch vertical leap is decidedly average by NBA standards, but his 7-foot-1 wingspan is the longest for any player in the league at his height.

The awkward build allows Horton-Tucker to throw down thunderous dunks like the one he did against the Lakers in the third quarter while also converting acrobatic finishes around taller defenders at the rim.

His game is so unique, it defies comparison, both from his coaches and his teammates.

“His skill set, have I seen that before? I guess I’ve seen parts of it, but I’ve not seen it packaged with that body,” Hardy said. “He’s a force.”

Clarkson, a nine-year NBA veteran almost admitted he didn’t have an accurate comp for Horton-Tucker.

“He’s very unique, he makes plays, he’s long. he gets to the rim, he makes shots,” Clarkson said. “He’s able to use his body, it’s crazy.”

Though he’s a regular in the Jazz rotation, Horton-Tucker hasn’t been the team’s most consistent player.

The wing averages 7.5 points per game, has scored in double-digits only three times including Monday night and shoots just 22 percent from the three-point line.

But at just 21 years old, there’s plenty of room to grow and further develop his one-of-a-kind game, even if he doesn’t have one specific player to mimic.

“I always try to watch a lot of basketball and then try and take bits and pieces from everybody’s game that I watch,” Horton Tucker said. “I really wouldn’t say I have a specific player that I model my game after.”

Davin Ham Took Quin Snyder’s Van

Before the game Lakers head coach Darvin Ham answered a question years in the making. What happened to Quin Snyder’s van?

Last year, Snyder, then the coach of the Jazz told reporters to ask Ham about taking his van when the two were assistant coaches with the Lakers during the 2011-12 season.

On Monday, Ham paid off Snyder’s tease.

“It was like one of those nice old-school Volkswagen Scooby Doo vans,” Ham said. “It was cool, all white, had a nice couch in it.”

While the two were working in LA, Ham was having car trouble and needed the use of another vehicle. That’s when he turned to Snyder for help.

The former Jazz coach handed the keys over to Ham.

“I went got it detailed, I put a new battery in it, he didn’t tell you all of that,” Ham joked. “I got the wheels together and all of that. I fixed that up so I got kind of felt like it was mine at that point, I put all this work into it.”

The two coaches only spent one season together before Snyder moved on to an assistant role with CSKA Moscow. But Ham admitted he still missed the van but didn’t know where it ended up.

“I have no idea, I would love to find out,” Hams said. “If it needs to be rescued, I would be more than willing.”

Extras

  • Walker Kessler scored eight points and grabbed nine rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.
  • Russell Westbrook had 22 points on 8-14 shooting but was -23 in 23 minutes.
  • Kelly Olynyk had only two fouls, tied for his fewest in a game this season.
  • Jordan Clarkson is 17-30 from the three-point line over his last four games for 54 percent.

Next Broadcast

The Jazz now travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Wednesday. The game will tip off at 5:30 pm MT and will be televised on AT&T SportsNet. The game can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. The game will also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

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