OKLAHOMA CITY — The Utah Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 116-103, at Paycom Center on Sunday.
- Bojan Bogdanovic had the most in-rhythm 35 points I’ve seen from him, and he did it while breaking the Jazz’s record for made 3-pointers in a single game.
Bogdanovic hit 11 3s and did it in incredibly efficient fashion, shooting 61.1% from beyond the arc while shooting perfect from the free throw line. I know that reporters, analysts and pundits say things like ‘Let the game come to him’ or ‘Play within the flow of the game’ a lot and it can often sound like we’re just using cliches or common sports phrases that don’t really mean anything, but Bogdanovic was the epitome of what those phrases mean on Sunday.
There was nothing that seemed forced or like a last-second decision. He hit shots that were open, only dribbled as much as was necessary and reacted to the defense rather than allowing the defense to react to him. He read the game perfectly, and his play allowed the Jazz to walk pretty easily to a win.
“Me and Royce (O’Neale) hit a couple of 3s right away, so I kind of was heating up in the first quarter right away and then the rest of the game was kind of easy with guys looking for me, especially Donovan (Mitchell).” — Bojan Bogdanovic
- The Jazz’s ball movement has been not great over the last couple of games, especially when there is significant ball pressure, but they did a much better job of that against the Thunder. Just making the easy read and the easy play and not dribbling straight into traffic without a plan b all sounds very simple, but the Jazz really make things look so much better when they play a more simple brand of basketball, and that generates a ton of open looks.
“That’s what we saw tonight, just making that quick read and if you do drive it, have a plan.” —Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
- I’m not going to try to hype this game up more than is necessary. The Jazz beat the Thunder, and there wasn’t a ton of drama in this one. That’s kind of what you want when a good team plays a not good team.
- Trent Forrest started in place of Mike Conley, who was taking the night off to rest, and he did a pretty good job. I think that when a guy that young is stretched out to 28 minutes and only has two turnovers, it’s a good sign of improvement and maturity.
- I am starting to wonder if the Jazz are getting what they expected or wanted out of Rudy Gay when they acquired him in the offseason. I think that the overarching thought is that Gay’s experience and his length will come in handy in the postseason, but I wish that we had more evidence of it.
Honestly, the most worrying part of this is that when any other player in the regular rotation has missed time, it’s been really apparent that the Jazz play better when they are on the court or at least available to play, but when Gay has missed time, it’s be kind of easy to forget what he actually adds.
I’m not saying it’s like that all the time. There have certainly been games in which Gay has been critical to the Jazz’s success on a given night, but those games are very few and far between.
- There are a lot of people that love Aleksej Pokusevski. He’s a 7-footer with a guard-like handle and is largely regarded as a player that is full of untapped potential. I just don’t think that he’s as good as other people do. Also, unfortunately, any potential that might be untapped is waning in the basketball purgatory otherwise known as Oklahoma City. I feel like by the time Poku would get an opportunity to play elsewhere, he’ll just be looked at as a guy who was good on a very bad team and not much more.
- The Jazz once again had a chance to stretch an early lead and put this game away well before the fourth quarter, but they didn’t create enough space to allow the starters to get a rest down the stretch. The Jazz are playing a back-to-back game in Dallas on Monday and they could have used every extra second of rest possible, but they let the Thunder hang around and had to close out the game with starters.
“It’s great for the team that we bounce back from the bad loss but I think that we’ve got to also be better whenever we have those 20-point leads. We’ve got to put things away and don’t allow them to get back in again.” —Bojan Bogdanovic