It’s now three games in a row that the Utah Jazz have lost on last second shots. This one may have been the toughest of the three because it included an incredible shot from Lauri Markkanen to finish the game. The problem was they needed just .01 more seconds for it to count.
Didn’t count, but what a shot from Lauri Markkanen.— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) January 4, 2023
After review, they decided it wasn’t off in time, and the Jazz lost to the Sacramento Kings 117-115.
That’s now five losses in a row for the Jazz who are trending to the bottom of the Western Conference with a record of 19-21. They are actually tied now in the loss column with the Wolves, Thunder, and Lakers. It shows how much things can change with a bad week in the Western Conference.
There were some silver linings to this game. Markkanen didn’t have a great shooting night but still found a way to be efficient. He went just 6/15 from the field and 1/7 from three but had 28 points. Why? He took 15 free throws. That ability to get to the line like that is another sign of Markkanen’s growth into a legitimate all-star. If he can find ways to score like that, even when his show isn’t falling, is what can set him apart as an elite scorer in this league. Markkanen’s development has been remarkable this season and has been a real joy to watch. With all the talk of Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, Jazz fans can’t complain about everything they got back in the deal, and Markkanen is here to stay as a cornerstone player.
Mike Conley is looking more and more like himself. Tonight Conley shot 6/10 from the field and 2/4 from three. On the floor, he moved much more like he did when the season started and the Jazz were jumping in the standings.
We also saw a nice game from Jarred Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt was active on the offensive end in multiple ways and showed why he’s such a valued piece by other teams. His ability to handle the ball, even in the half court, provides a wrinkle to the Jazz offense that puts pressure on defenses. That big-to-big passing makes Utah difficult to guard and tonight showed again why the Jazz are such a difficult team to defend with so many options.
It was a brutal loss, but the Jazz are showing incredible resilience to come out and play hard every night regardless of the tough losses from before.