UTAH JAZZ

New Jazz Starters Struggle In Warriors Loss

Feb 12, 2024, 10:32 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2024, 2:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz fell to the Golden State Warriors 129-107 as they dropped to 26-28 on the season.

Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points off the bench to lead the Jazz.

The Warriors were led by Klay Thompson who scored 26.

New Starting Lineup Struggles Against Warriors

The Jazz made a significant change to the starting lineup against Golden State, replacing veteran Kris Dunn with rookie Keyonte George for what will likely be the remainder of the regular season.

With the exception of Walker Kessler who was a net zero, every starter had a plus-minus of -20 or worse.

“I felt like it’s it’s time,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said of the move. “Keyonte is a big part of our program.”

George struggled offensively shooting just 2-10 from the floor including 1-6 from the three-point line, scoring five points in just over 29 minutes.

As a starter, George will be tasked with getting the team’s frontcourt into an offensive flow, rather than carrying the second-unit’s scoring load.

“I’ve got to get Lauri [Markkanen] going early,” George said. “He can’t feel like he’s not a part of the game, every time he’s in the game he has to be effective in some way.”

George dished out four assists while Markkanen added 19 points on 8-17 shooting.

Despite his slow start against the Warriors, Hardy reiterated his belief in the rookie.

“I think that Keyonte stepping into that role is ultimately is what’s best for our team moving forward,” Hardy said.

Jazz Lineups After The Trade Deadline

Throughout the season Hardy has discussed his desire to play the best 48 minutes of basketball from a lineup perspective.

That doesn’t always mean starting the team’s five best players, or closing a game with the same five he started.

Since mid-December, Hardy has found a consistent 10-man rotation that he’s been able to tinker with, and with a few exceptions, the Jazz have played a strong 48 minutes most nights.

But after Thursday’s trade deadline, Kelly Olynyk, Simone Fontecchio, and Ochai Agbaji are gone, and Hardy’s had to hit the reset button on his most relied-upon lineups.

“You’ve got to look at and say, ‘Hey, that closing group that had Kelly in it, for example. Kelly was a big part of that group,'” Hardy said. “And so some of the data around the four other players may look good, but that means that I’ve got to make a really good choice about who the fifth person has to be with them.”

In addition to being one of the Jazz’s best shooters in the fourth quarter this season, the team regularly ran the offense through Olynyk as a playmaker, a skill set that will be hard to replace.

“It’s not like you’re adding a fifth player who’s just going to stand in the corner and shoot catch and shoots,” Hardy added. “We’re moving people around a lot, so there’s definitely context that goes into it, you can’t do it overnight.”

The Jazz struggled to execute with their new lineups, committing 18 turnovers leading to 23 Warriors points.

“We obviously have a lot of work to do in terms of cleaning up some of the guys’ roles and trying to help them understand how they can help each other,” Hardy said.

Jazz Standings Watch

The Jazz’s loss to Golden State could play a major role in the standings at the end of the regular season.

The Warriors now sit 1.5 games ahead of the Jazz for the 10th and final Play-In Tournament spot in the West.

Additionally, the 12th-seeded Houston Rocket beat the New York Knicks to pull within 1.5 games of the 11th-seed.

In the East, the Chicago Bulls downed the Atlanta Hawks and pulled even with the Jazz with a 26-28 record.

That means only the Rockets sit between the Jazz and the 10th-worst record in the NBA, in which case they would hold onto their 1-10 protected pick owed to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Utah Jazz Next Broadcast

The Jazz will face the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday at 7 pm MST in Salt Lake City. The game will be televised on KJZZ, streamed on Jazz+, and can be heard on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone.


Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow 
@kslsports


Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

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.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Utah Jazz

Utah Jazz rookies best plays of February...

Chandler Holt

Top Plays In February From Utah Jazz Rookies

Let's lean into the youth movement by looking back at the best plays of February from the Utah Jazz rookies.

10 hours ago

Utah Jazz Brooklyn Nets Lauri Markkanen Knicks...

Ben Anderson

Strong Jazz Effort Falls Short Against Magic

The Utah Jazz played one of their better games since the trade deadline but came up short against the Orlando Magic.

1 day ago

Keyonte-George-Utah-Jazz-NBA...

Ben Anderson

Jalen Suggs Late Threes Push Magic Past Jazz

The Utah Jazz pushed the Orlando Magic but ultimately came up short, falling on the road 115-107 to drop their second straight.

1 day ago

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson drives against Gary Harris of the Orlando Magic....

Chandler Holt

Jordan Clarkson Leaves Magic Defense Guessing With Dribble Moves

Jordan Clarkson made multiple highlights with his handle in the fourth quarter against the Orlando Magic on Thursday.

1 day ago

Keyonte George dunk...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Rookie Keyonte George Throws Down Transition Alley-Oop Dunk

Keyonte George showed off his hops in the third quarter against the Orlando Magic as he rose up for an alley-oop dunk.

1 day ago

John Collins #20 of the Utah Jazz...

Chandler Holt

John Collins Leads Jazz In Slow First Half Against Orlando Magic

John Collins was the only Utah Jazz player to reach double figures in the first half against the Orlando Magic on Thursday.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

New Jazz Starters Struggle In Warriors Loss