Jazz Break Shooting Slump In Win Over Pacers

Feb 13, 2023, 8:43 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 2:38 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz got 29 points from Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen as they downed the Indiana Pacers 123-117.

The Jazz moved to 2-1 to open their four-game road trip thanks to a hot shooting performance in Indiana.

Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton led all scorers with 30 points and 12 assists despite Indiana having lost five straight games.

Jazz Break Shooting Slump

The Jazz came into Monday’s game against Indiana having shot just 27 percent from three in their last five outings.

Entering the matchup, the Jazz were 1-4 in their last five games and had shot better than 30 percent just once during the stretch.

Against the Pacers, the Jazz shot 15-33 (45 percent) from downtown, their best shooting night since January 25 when they knocked down 20-41 from three against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Unsurprisingly, the Jazz have seen a strong correlation between wins and shooting this season as they prepare to head into the All-Star break.

Even excluding their latest five-game stretch, the Jazz are 22-10 this year when they shoot 35 percent or better from three, and just 5-17 in games when they shoot 34 percent or worse.

Three-point shooting will be a big question mark for the rest of the season after moving Malik Beasley and Mike Conley at the trade deadline.

Beasley was the Jazz’s most prolific shooter this season having knocked down 169 threes while Conley added 77, good for fourth-best.

Clarkson knocked down 6-8 from three to lead the Jazz against Indiana, while Kelly Olynyk was a perfect 4-4 from downtown

“Coach came up to me and was like ‘Man, we’re missing some guys that had some three-point attempts on the team so we’re going have to get you to shoot those catch-and-shoots more and find your rhythm,'” Clarkson said.

The guard knocked down all four of his three-point attempts in the third quarter when the Jazz were in danger of seeing the game slip away.

“He’s incredibly capable of getting as hot as anybody in the league and we saw that for a period tonight.”

Jazz Likely Can’t Catch Pacers In Standings

It’s probably safe to add the Pacers to the list of teams the Jazz won’t be able to catch in the lottery standings by the end of the season.

In addition to their current five-game losing streak, Indiana is now 2-14 in their last 16 games and owns the sixth-worst record in the NBA.

After Monday’s win, the Jazz are four games ahead of the Pacers in the standings and have just 23 games left to play.

The Jazz face a tough game Wednesday on the road in Memphis against the second-seeded Grizzlies and will have 22 games after the All-Star break to decide how they want to approach the close to the season.

To date, the Jazz have yet to try to improve their lottery standings by purposely losing games, and as long as Markkanen is on the floor, they’ll have a puncher’s chance to win every night.

But despite sitting alone in the 10th seed in the West, only two games separate the team and the Los Angeles Lakers who own the seventh worth record in the NBA.

Should the Jazz focus on the health of their players and choose to rest starters consistently to close the season, the team could certainly position themselves well to land a top-10 draft pick.

This late in the season, the likelihood of winning the draft lottery drops with every win, and after Monday’s win, fans should add the Pacers to the list of six teams who the Jazz can’t catch in the lottery standings.

Jazz Next Broadcast

The Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies will tip off at 6 pm MT. 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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Jazz Break Shooting Slump In Win Over Pacers