The score could be a little deceiving because this one was pretty close for most of it. The Jazz were able to pull away late, but that could have also combined with a tired Clippers team who was playing on the back end of a back-to-back on the road and in the elevation of Utah. Regardless, it was a nice win for a Jazz team who was desperate to get stop the bleeding of the last couple of weeks.
Jordan Clarkson was fantastic tonight. For the game, he had 33 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds on 55% shooting from the field and 55% shooting from 3. He also took 11 free throws and made 8. It was a superb showing from Clarkson, who has become the heart of this team. When he plays well, the Jazz roll, and tonight was proof of that.
Lauri Markkanen also had a great night scoring 23 points on just 11 shots. He also grabbed 9 rebounds and 2 assists. Markkanen is looking better and better every night, and the thing that is impressive is the consistency he’s bringing. Without Mike Conley, you might think his scoring would go down, but he’s kept it up and has improved his efficiency. In the time that Conley has been out, Markkanen is shooting 42% from three, and it was no different tonight as he shot 4/7 from three.
Finally, Jarred Vanderbilt showed up big time in this one with a 14 and 12 double-double. When Vanderbilt is playing well, he’s a dynamic player that can really change games for Utah. Tonight he left a huge imprint on the game that was a key part of the Jazz win.
It should be mentioned that the Clippers looked exhausted and were able to keep this one close for most of the game. A lot of that was fueled by the Jazz’s turnovers, something that has become a problem. Mike Conley being out has certainly contributed to that, considering the ball would be in his hands a lot of the time if he were he playing. His ability to control the offense and keep them from turning it over is something they’re missing, but with time they may be able to figure that out. At least for one night, they were able to keep the turnovers down enough to get a win.