Jazz Lack Energy In Loss To Wizards

Nov 12, 2022, 7:10 PM
Kristaps Porzingis of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Despite having their first two days off between games this season, the Utah Jazz lacked energy in a 121-112 loss to the Washington Wizards.

Kristaps Porzingis led the Wizards 31 points and 10 rebounds while Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points for the Jazz, but knocked down just 2-8 from the three-point line.

The Jazz fell to 10-4 with the loss, and 1-1 on their three-game road trip.

Jazz Frontcourt Struggles

The Jazz frontcourt had arguably their worst game of the season as Lauri Markkanen and Kelly Olynyk were badly outplayed by Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma.

While the Wizards frontcourt combined for 54 points and 18 rebounds, Markkanen and Olynyk scored 27 points and grabbed just 10 rebounds.

Neither played had an answer for Porzingis who torched the Jazz beyond the arc, knocking down 4-8 from the three-point line on mostly uncontested looks.

The two Jazzmen shot 3-8 from three but managed just two attempts in the second half.

Washington doesn’t play a traditional center, and their ability to space the floor on offense, and match up with the Jazz on defense gave Markkanen and Olynyk problems that they hadn’t seen often this season.

“I don’t think we saw Lauri’s best game, I think he was okay,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “I thought he did a decent job offensively picking his spots, but I think defensively, like a lot of our team, it wasn’t his best night.”

Though Markkanen knocked down 8-14 from the floor, he was a team-worst -23 in 31 minutes.

Jazz Starters Lacked Energy

While Markkanen and Olynyk struggled against the Wizards, the rest of the Jazz starters had notable lapses in play.

Mike Conley finished with 10 assists, marking the fourth time in the last five outings he’s recorded double-digit assists. However, the guard shot just 1-8 from the floor and 0-5 from three.

Clarkson got the Jazz going early scoring seven first quarter points on 3-3 shooting, but connected on just 5-15 the rest of the way for 13 points.

Jarred Vanderbilt scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds, but played just five minutes in the second half.

Worse yet, the Jazz starters managed just one combined free throw in over 130 minutes on the floor together, and that was only the result of a three-second violation by the Wizards.

The Jazz starters were unable to force the issue against the Wizards and it cost them the game.

Talen Horton-Tucker’s Shades Of Manu Ginobili

Talen Horton-Tucker has one of the more unique games in the NBA which makes it hard to find an accurate player comparison for him.

But, considering his ability to force his way into the paint, his circus finishes at the rim, his strong midrange game, and his recent hot shooting (38 percent from three over the last five games), there are clear shades of Manu Ginobili in his game.

Now, don’t get it twisted, Ginobili is a Hall of Famer, and was one of the top three players on a team that won four NBA titles. Don’t expect that from Horton-Tucker.

But during his 16-year career in the NBA, Ginobili also had one of the more unique games in the league, and the skillsets have quite a bit of overlap.

Ginobili was a far better playmaker than Horton-Tucker has shown, but he also didn’t make his NBA debut until he was 25. The new Jazz guard was just 19 when he took the court floor for the first time.

Horton-Tucker had the best passing game of his season so far, dishing out nine assists to go with 12 points off the bench.

The guard has a long way to go before he reaches his potential, but the ceiling is in Utah.

Jazz Prepare For The 76ers

The Jazz have a quick turnaround as they fly from Washington to face the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers have had a slow start to the season 1-4, before bringing their record to a more respectable 6-7.

Philadephia split a two-game series with the Hawks where they struggled mightily to score in Atlanta before earning a victory back at home.

James Harden has missed the last four games for the 76ers with a foot injury and won’t return for several weeks, and the team misses his offense.

Philadelphia has the 15th ranked offense through three weeks of the season and 11th ranked defense.

Joel Embiid is having another MVP caliber year averaging better than 27 points and 10 rebounds per game, while Tyrese Maxey is averaging a career-best 22.9 points per outing.

Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz and 76ers will tip off at 5:30 pm MT in Philadelphia. 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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