The Utah Jazz hosted the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night for Royce O’Neale’s return to Utah. Royce got a nice welcome and immediately made his presence felt with three three-pointers in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Utah struggled with their shooting, have one of their worst first quarters of the season.
Despite missing Kevin Durant, Brooklyn turned to their star player for scoring. Kyrie Irving had it firing on all cylinders. He was hitting shots that were wilder than his conspiracy theories.
Utah pushed back with a big run led by Collin Sexton and Jarred Vanderbilt. Lauri Markkanen and Jordan Clarkson also began to find their shots, and the game was close almost the whole way.
In the clutch, Kyrie hit shot after shot to ice the game. He finished with 48 points, eleven rebounds, six assists, and four steals.
Player of the game
Despite Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen having the most impressive statistical lines, I’m giving this one to Collin Sexton.
When the Jazz couldn’t buy a bucket, Sexton entered the game and immediately attacked the basket. His energy was infectious and a huge factor in keeping Utah in the game. Sexton finished with 17 points on 7-12 shooting.
Honorable mentions to Jordan Clarkson (29 points, five assists) and Lauri Markkanen (22 points, eleven rebounds).
- Good to see Royce again. 13/6/5 for him.
- Rough night for the rookies. This is the first time Kessler has looked like a rookie in quite a while.
- Lauri can start 0-15, and I’ll still be confident that he’ll end up with a pretty efficient night.
- JC needs to tone down the hero ball at the end of these close games. It’s okay to look for his shot, but sometimes he takes it to ridiculous levels.
- Claxton is good.