Markkanen Sparks Early Jazz Lead Against Warriors
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz went on an early run in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors which was sparked by big man Lauri Markkanen.
Midway through the first quarter, the Jazz went on a 12-2 run which started with a layup by Jordan Clarkson and a two by Jarred Vanderbilt before Markkanen hit a three-pointer.
Jordan Poole scored two points for the Warriors during the Jazz run before Mike Conley hit a triple and Clarkson ended the run with a floater in the lane. The Jazz held a 20-12 lead with 4:58 remaining in the first quarter.
Markkanen played in the first six minutes of the game before coming off the floor with a slight limp. He had nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc when he left the game.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 29, 2022
Jazz Have Missed Olynyk
The Jazz went 2-2 in their four games without Kelly Olynyk, and the veteran’s center absence was most apparent in Monday night’s loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Both Walker Kessler and Jarred Vanderbilt found themselves in foul trouble against the Spurs leaving themselves extra shorthanded in the frontcourt without their usual starter.
For the season the Jazz own the fourth-best offensive rating in the NBA but saw that number dip to 13th over the last four games with Oklynyk off the floor.
The 31-year-old center is averaging 12.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, and a career-high 3.2 assists while shooting a personal best 43 percent from the three-point line.
The Jazz meanwhile have struggled as a whole on the road. The team is just 2-11 in their last 13 games away from Salt Lake City.
Warriors Nearly Unbeatable At Home
While the Jazz have struggled on the road, the Warriors have been nearly unbeatable at home this season.
Despite owning a 17-18 record overall, Golden State is 14-2 this season when playing at Chase Center, and just 3-16 when playing on the road.
The Warriors own the second-best defensive rating in the NBA when playing at home and the 15th-best offensive rating.
On the road, the Warriors own the 29th-ranked defensive rating and the 20th-ranked offensive rating.
The Warriors will be on the second night of back-to-back games after beating the Charlotte Hornets 110-105 on Tuesday night at home.
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