The difference in this game was shooting efficiency. Utah still managed to lose despite taking ten more field goals, 25(!) more three-pointers, and three more free throws than their opponents. That was due mostly to the Jazz’ 40% shooting from the field compared to the Spurs’ 55%. San Antonio was led by Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl, and rookie Malaki Branham; all of whom scored at least 16 points on over 60% shooting.
After falling behind by 20 points, Utah put together a gritty fourth-quarter run, pulling within three points in the final minute. Tre Jones then hit back-to-back clutch runners and the game was over.
Player of the game
Lauri Markkanen’s three-point shot cooled off tonight, hitting only 3-10, but that didn’t slow him down. “The Finnisher” had another massive box score of 32 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks. He shot 8-18 from the field and 13-13 from the free-throw line. Markkanen’s ability to consistently contribute has been foundational for the Jazz.
An honorable mention goes to Mike Conley, who broke out of his slump with 17 points, six assists, and five rebounds.
- Lauri Markkanen still manages to be impactful even in his poorer shooting games.
- Mike Conley ditched the shooting sleeve and undershirt tonight and hit 5-7 from three. Time to leave the sleeve behind.
- Jordan Clarkson’s shooting makes or breaks the Jazz at times.
- Tough game for Kessler. Never found any rhythm on either end of the court.
- Collin Sexton’s speed is shocking at times.
- Bad Malik Beasley games are thoroughly painful.
The Utah Jazz will continue their road trip with a game against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at 8:00 PM Mountain Time.