The Utah Jazz tried their very best to once again hand the victory to the Golden State Warriors. However, a pair of Donovan Mitchell free throws with 2.5 seconds sealed a 108-104 win — the fourth straight Jazz victory in the confines of Vivint Arena.
It seemed fitting for Utah that in such an inconsistent season would lose four out of its last five games, several in ugly fashion, would follow that up with a performance capable of toppling the defending NBA champions.
Strangely enough, while Mitchell dealt the killing blow to the Warriors, the Jazz seemed to win despite his efforts. The second-year guard had a rough night shooting, making just 5 of 26 shots (2 of 11 from three) and also had six turnovers on the night.
Several of those missed shots came in the final minute or so and one of the turnovers occurred when Mitchell lost control of his dribble while trying to put the Jazz up by five with under 30 seconds to go.
Luckily, other players came through in a major way. Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder combined for 38 points and went 9 of 18 from deep. Kyle Korver went 4 of 7 from downtown for 12 points. Rudy Gobert added 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks as well. Crowder also got his second straight double-double of the season by grabbing 11 boards of his own (Crowder did not have any double-doubles this season before the last two games).
The main takeaway from this game is that the team played with urgency for basically the entire game. They never let the Warriors go on enormous, game-changing runs that ultimately cost them a win.
Sure, there were plenty of mistakes and frustrations. Mitchell shooting nine more shots than he had points and Ricky Rubio going 0 for 8 from the field did not look good. But those two also combined for 16 assists with Rubio getting 10, making him at least somewhat serviceable on offense in the game.
Perhaps the play that best exemplified this was when Mitchell, who again, struggled tonight and could have let that get to him, put so much effort in a close out that it sent him three rows into the stands.
This was a good win for the Jazz and they need more of what they did tonight. Not so much in the play-to-play execution, as it lacked severely in places. But there was effort, defense and ultimately, a win.