Utah’s hot streak began after a loss in Atlanta, so it’s only fitting that it end with a loss against Atlanta. The Hawks’ Dennis Schröder had a career best night while Ricky Rubio had a career worst night on the defensive end. That was all the difference Atlanta needed to shock the resurgent Jazz at home beating them 99-94. Dennis Schöder had 41 points on 16 of 18 shooting with 5 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Jazz played down to Atlanta’s level the entire game. They missed wide open shots and only shot 6 of 34 from three. Every time Utah pulled away they struggled to put the pedal to the metal and put the game out of reach. Every time Atlanta kept crawling back. The Utah Jazz missed Derrick Favors dearly in this game with Schröder beating Rubio to paint every single time. While Gobert normally would make an impact in this game, he was limited by foul trouble missing most of the 3rd quarter then being limited with 5 fouls for most of the 4th.
What’s troubling is Utah had Atlanta in the bonus starting with 9 minutes in the 4th quarter but didn’t challenge Atlanta in the paint for much of that remaining 9 minutes.
Ricky Rubio scored 23 points, but had a +/- of -11 while on the court. He struggled to stay in front of Dennis Schröder for much of the night. Most of the Jazz team did. Schröder enjoyed a paint free of Gobert with Rudy in foul trouble and reluctant to foul out.
Joe Ingles and Donovan Mitchell picked a heck of a game to lose their touch from three. They combined for 2 of 18 from long distance. In the closing seconds with Utah only down 2, Donovan Mitchell missed with a floater, Rudy Gobert got the rebound, passed out to Joe Ingles who missed the wide open look from three. Then when the Jazz were down 3 with 11 seconds they got Joe another good look and he missed another wide open 3. That was the end of the game.
This puts the Jazz squarely in the 8th spot. What hurts is OKC lost tonight. Utah could have been only 1 game behind OKC with just as many losses with OKC. If Utah wants to get back into the mix for homecourt then the degree of difficulty for that just got a lot higher. They will have to go on the road and beat one of the Spurs, Warriors, Timberwolves, or Trail Blazers.
The Utah Jazz’s next game is in Dallas on Tuesday at 6:30PM MT.