The Utah Jazz fell to the Miami Heat in a Friday night slugfest. The Jazz played admirably, however, the suddenly surging Heat played a gritty defensive game and super star Jimmy Butler imposed his will at the end leading the heat to a 124 - 116 victory.
Jimmy Butler nearly had a triple double and was dominant on the offensive end for the whole game. In the first quarter Butler did a good job of getting stretch big Bam Adebayo involved in the game which was key because if Bam is in a rhythm he can make life really difficult for Rudy Gobert. The game went back and forth with lead never going over 10 points for either team but in the forth quarter the Heat clamped down on the Jazz and created enough separation to put it away. The Jazz were able to pull within 116-115 with 2:30 left in the game but then Butler scored the next five points unanswered for the Heat to ice the game.
For the Jazz, they got decent production out of their starters and the team played well enough to hang with the Heat for the majority of the game but it felt like they expended a lot of energy just to keep up and then ran out of gas at the end. Donovan Mitchell filled up the box score with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists but unfortunately missed a late free throw that would have brought the Jazz within 117-118 and then had an unforced turnover on the next possession that sealed Utah’s fate.
In the end, the Jazz are still 22-3 in their last 25 games, but it still stings to start the four game road trip with a loss. It has gotten to the point where Jazz fans kind of just feel like the Jazz are always going to find a way to win but then reality sets in we realize that it really is true that you can’t win them all. The only silver lining to a game like this that we will see this team back in action tomorrow night vs the Orlando Magic with hopefully a better result.
In this one you have to give the MVP to Donovan Mitchell who scored 30 points with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. It was the 5 turnovers for Mitchell that really hurt. We’re always talking about a next step for Donovan Mitchell and if there was one thing he could improve on now it’s consistently having a positive assist/turnover ratio.
Mitchell’s offensive game is built on a lot of improv that he uses to get his shots, and he’s remarkable. But for him to take that step to being a top-10 type player is to learn how to keep that improv within controlled sequences. He’s definitely getting there but there’s still some refining to do. Once he does it’s 1st team all NBA, All-Star starter and more!