After missing two games to a minor hip injury, Lauri Markkanen made his return against the LA Clippers. He started with a bang, scoring the game's first seven points. That start set the tone for the Utah Jazz.
The Clippers are dealing with a host of nagging injuries, most notably those of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. With their weakened roster, Utah was favored coming into tonight.
After the Jazz took the early lead, they never looked back. They led from start to finish for their first wire-to-wire victory of the season, winning 126-103.
Player of the game
Lauri Markkanen, the soon-to-be All-Star, takes this one. He scored 34 points on 55%/75%/100% shooting to go with his 12 rebounds and two blocks. The Finnisher was a dominant +26 on the night.
Markkanen continues to produce star numbers nearly every time he steps onto the court. His consistency has been incredible. This was his 11th 30+ point game of the season.
Honorable mentions to Mike Conley (17 points, 6-8 shooting, 5-6 from three, nine assists) and Walker Kessler (13 points, 6-9 shooting, 11 rebounds, two blocks), who both played great.
- Markkanen is one of the most efficient volume scorers in NBA history. Every game, I wonder if he'll cool off, but I think he's actually heating up.
- Where does Markkanen rank all-time among Utah Jazz in-game dunkers? I don't think he can be out of the top 3.
- Mike Conley continues to quietly be a great point guard. If he gets traded, somebody will be getting a perfect addition.
- Ochai Agbaji is an athlete.
- Walker Kessler having a 'ho-hum' 13 & 11 is a testament to how good he is.
- Beasley shot well tonight. That was nice to see. Hopefully, that signals an end to his cold streak.
- The Jazz players getting hyped by the fourth-quarter chicken promotion was my favorite moment of the season.