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3 keys in the Utah Jazz’s loss to the Washington Wizards

The Jazz stayed within striking distance through the fourth quarter but couldn’t get enough stops to get over the hump.

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Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton (2) goes to the basket against Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis (6) and forward Corey Kispert during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Washington. Kispert was charged with a foul on the play. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Utah Jazz guard Collin Sexton (2) goes to the basket against Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis (6) and forward Corey Kispert during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Washington. Kispert was charged with a foul on the play. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

AP

WASHINGTON — The Utah Jazz stayed within striking distance through the fourth quarter on Saturday night but couldn’t get enough stops to get over the hump and fell to the Washington Wizards 121-112.

The Jazz are now to 10-4 on the season. Here are three keys that contributed to the Jazz’s loss:

  • Mike Conley, usually one of the most reliable scorers on the roster, had a tough time getting shots to fall on Saturday. He finished 0-of-5 from 3-point range and 1-of-8 overall. Even on nights when Conley doesn’t score much he usually isn’t inefficient and makes up for it with the rest of his game, and while he had 10 assists, the Jazz desperately needed some scoring from him.
  • The Wizards used their size against the Jazz, repeatedly switching Conley, Collin Sexton and Malik Beasley onto Kristaps Porzingis. At that point, Porzingis would either take advantage of the smaller defender or he would bait the Jazz into doubling him before swinging the ball around to an open man. He finished with a game-high 31 points to go with 10 rebounds.
  • The Jazz were not nearly as physical as they needed to be against the Wizards. At halftime the Jazz had only a single free throw attempt, and it was on a technical 3-second call. By the end of the night, the Jazz, who went into the game averaging 21.8 free throw attempts per game, only had 11 attempts, and some of those came in garbage time. The Wizards, on the other hand, were 17-of-20 from the charity stripe.