Low Energy Jazz No Match For Hawks

Feb 3, 2023, 10:36 PM | Updated: Feb 4, 2023, 3:38 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz had few answers for the more aggressive Atlanta Hawks in a 115-108 loss Friday night.

Lauri Markkanen scored 25 points, but the Jazz lacked a spark despite having spent the last eight days at home.

Trae Young scored 27 points while De’Andre Hunter added 26 in the Hawks win.

Jazz Miss Shots, Respond Poorly

The Jazz shot poorly to open the game, knocking down just 9-26 shots from the floor including 1-12 from the three-point line.

The Hawks swarming defense made it difficult to find open shots, leaving the Jazz to settle for difficult isolation drives to the hoop.

Even when the Jazz made baskets, they failed to slow the Hawks offense.

Six of the Hawks 32 first quarter points came in transition as the Jazz watched the quicker Hawks easily get to the rim.

“We started off missing and they started out making some of theirs,” Mike Conley said of the Hawks early shooting.

The Jazz were scoreless in transition in the first quarter allowing the Hawks to establish an early rhythm which was all they needed to coast to an easy victory.

After their 1-12 start from three, the Jazz knocked down 12 of their next 32, but it wasn’t enough to fully erase the Hawks lead.

An Ochai Agbaji three in the final seconds cut the Hawks lead to four, but a quick Hunter three pushed the Hawks lead back to seven, ending the game.

Conley Still Surprising Himself

Friday’s game against the Hawks marked Conley’s 1,000th game in the NBA.

Coincidentally, the guard had his best statistical performance of the year scoring a season-high 20 points on an efficient 7-9 shooting to go with eight assists.

The veteran says he still surprises himself sometimes after 16 seasons in the NBA.

“In the game, I’m like, ‘Man, I can’t move at all,'” Conley joked. “But on tape, I’m like ‘Oh my god, I was quick.’ You see the first step and there’s certain things that are still there and I can still move. I’m happy to still be able to do that and to continue work on my body, and to try to stay at that level as long as I can.”

It’s nights like the one Conley had against Atlanta that have made him a popular name in trade discussions even in the twilight years of his career.

The Los Angeles Clippers are rumored to be interested in Conley ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, and his performance in recent nights won’t hurt his stock.

Over the last two games, Conley has posted back-to-back season highs of 19 and 20 points and has missed just five of his 17 shots.

Markkanen Continues Streak

With 25 points Lauri Markkanen extended his streak of 20 points games to 20, becoming only the third player in franchise history to reach the mark.

With Friday’s performance, Markkanen bested “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s streak of 19, and now trails only Karl Malone and Adrian Dantley among players with longer stretches.

Markkanen needs four more games of 20 points or more to break Dantley’s 23-game stretch with the Jazz in 1982, but has a ways to go before catching Malone.

The “Mailman” scored 20 or more over a 45-game stretch during the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons.

Jazz Next Broadcast

The Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks will tip off at 7 pm MT in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. It can also be streamed on DirecTV Stream and FuboTV.

Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Low Energy Jazz No Match For Hawks