The Utah Jazz beat the shorthanded Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night to the tune of 118-88 in their first game back at Vivint Arena after a five-game road trip.
- The Nets were without Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Kevin Durant and the newly acquired Blake Griffin. The Jazz did exactly what they were supposed to do against the ragtag deep reserves that the Nets fielded on Wednesday. The Jazz had a 21-point lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back.
“We had that ... first game after the [All-Star] break weekend against Houston. They had a bunch of guys who came to play. We were up I want to say 24 at one point, and then they came back to single digits. So the biggest thing was start strong...play the right way, continue to do what we do and keep it that way for the full 48 minutes.” —Donovan Mitchell
- The early shooting of Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell was a huge boon for the Jazz, and it included at least two instances in which Mitchell successfully hit a crossover, shimmy step-back at the very end of the shot clock. To say there was confidence early on would be an understatement.
- Bojan Bogdanovic, who has been having a really rough time lately, especially from a shooting perspective, put together a really solid game on Wednesday. He finished with 18 points, including going 4 of 6 from deep. He also went 4 of 5 from the free-throw line and added three rebounds and three assists. He actually would have had more assists if his teammates would have hit a couple of open shots.
- Georges Niang also had a really good night, going 5 of 8 from 3 for 15 points off the bench.
- The scoring was really good for the Jazz and a big reason they were able to hop out in front with such a large margin, but their defense was also really tight to start the game, something they’ve been a little slack on recently. All five starters came out aggressively contesting shots with hands up and in faces. They did not play down to the competition and made defense the priority.
- While the Jazz went a very respectable 23 of 55 from 3-point land, even with nearly the entire fourth quarter being garbage time, the Nets shot just 7 of 35 from deep and couldn’t find scoring from nearly anywhere.
- Joe Harris, a very good shooter, started for the Nets, took and missed just one 3-pointer and played just 4:57 before he was pulled from the lineup. If that’s not a sign that the Nets gave up early, then I don’t know what is.
- Official Matt Boland left the game at halftime with an injury. It’s the second time this season that an official has had to leave a Jazz game after getting injured and the third time this season that the Jazz have had at least part of a game officiated with just two referees.
- Jordan Clarkson went into Wednesday’s game shooting 30.6% from 3-point range over the last 10 games. Then he went 1 of 11 from beyond the arc against Brooklyn. I guess that when one slump closes (Bogdanovic), another one opens. While some of Clarkson’s shots were missed, wide open looks, there were also quite a few bad shots that he should have never taken. From everything that we’ve heard from NBA players over the years, the best way to break out of a slump is to just keep shooting, but you’d kind of like him to wait for the good looks rather than taking the bad ones right now.
“We know who Jordan is. He’s been terrific and he’s had far more games where he’s made shots. But I think the thing we saw, you know there’s other ways to impact the game, and I thought you saw him really dig in defensively in the second half.” —Jazz head coach Quin Snyder