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Instant analysis: Effective transition game helps Jazz beat Kings for 3rd time this season

It wasn’t always pretty or clean, but Jazz gave solid effort, had good spacing and made quick decisions en route to victory

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell drives to the basket against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Nov. 20, 2021.
Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) drives to the basket against the Sacramento Kings during game in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. The Jazz won 123-105.
Randall Benton, Associated Press

The Utah Jazz improved to 11-5 on Saturday night by outrunning and outgunning the Sacramento Kings in a 123-105 victory.

High Notes

  • When the Jazz are pushing the ball and prioritizing getting transition buckets, specifically 3s, and they’re making them, they are going to score quite a few points and be pretty tough to beat. A lot of ifs and whens to get through on that sentence, but there’s more. It requires effort and good spacing and quick decision making and again, they’ve got to make the shots. Well, they did all of those things Saturday. They finished the night shooting 43.6% from 3-point range, which is great.
  • Here’s the thing, when the Jazz are playing that well offensively on the break it makes up for a multitude of sins. The Jazz didn’t play a really complete game, there were a lot of sloppy things, a lot of bad defensive possessions, some real missed opportunities, and the Jazz didn’t really gain total control until the fourth quarter, but they gained control because of how effective their transition game was.
  • I’m not sure what inspires Bojan Bogdanovic or what motivates him, but whatever it is that gets him playing good defense, he should seek it out every single day, because when Bogdanovic is playing good defense and boxing out and just generally aware, it does wonders for the Jazz.
  • Mike Conley is so good at basketball. It’s really hard to find times when he’s not making the right decision. He’s one of the most deliberate basketball players that I’ve ever watched. He also makes guys better by virtue of just playing smart. It’s really something to see. If it weren’t for his 12-point first quarter and then a quick spark to start the fourth, the Jazz might not have made it out of this one. But they made shots and Conley played great and they got the win.
  • The Sacramento Kings’ game ops crew is one of the best in the league and they do this thing that is incredibly effective when the opposing team is on offense. They play either the Jaws theme, or other music that increases in tempo or sounds like a speeding up slow clap and it makes the players speed up and honestly creates some tension that otherwise would not exist.

Low Notes

  • When Royce O’Neale is making decisions and sticking with them he’s so good and so fast. If he decides he’s driving, he’s strong and quick and usually gets a really good look at the rim. When he shoots, he’s one of the best on the team at it. When he knows he’s going to pass before the ball comes to him, he usually finds someone in a really good spot. When he does not do those things it’s really frustrating.
  • You know what’s bad? When the fans are chanting for the head coach to be fired. Luke Walton’s days are numbered and everyone knows it and it’s not good for the Kings.

Flat Notes

  • Um. I don’t know how else to say this ... A Kings fan vomited on the court. Yeah. More on that later.