The Utah Jazz won a war of attrition on their first game back from a 5 game road trip against the in-form Miami Heat as it finished 109-117. After a woeful night of shooting from beyond-the-arc, the fourth quarter saw the Jazz come alive as they shot 6 from 10 from 3 on the way to a 29 point quarter - outscoring the heat by 8.
A yo-yo game saw neither team getting further than 6 points ahead with 25 lead changes and 12 times tied, key performances from the Jazz saw the Salt Lake City natives winning in this afternoon tip.
top of the key three???— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 31, 2023
yes please pic.twitter.com/UXbXC13iQe
Keyonte George sprang to life and led the offense in the 4th - with 3-of-4 from 3 on his way to 11 points in the quarter and a 21 point performance. Leading the team from scoring was Collin Sexton who posted 22 points with 5 assists. Kelly Olynyk, once again, teased everybody on triple-double watch with his stat line of 19 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds as he stepped up and continued his chameleonic nature of providing whatever the team needs every night.
Turnovers have been such an issue for this Jazz team so far this season however those tables turned as the Heat gave the Jazz 16 additional possessions to the Jazz’s 10.
The Heat came in after having won 4 straight games promised a tough matchup for the Jazz, and so it came to be. Unfortunately, Jimmy Butler left the game in the third quarter with an injured right foot. Bam Adebayo led the Heat with 28 points, backed up by Tyler Herro with 25 points.
If Kelly has a million fans, we’re one of them.⁰— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) December 30, 2023
If Kelly has one fan, it’s us.
⁰If Kelly has no fans, we’re dead. pic.twitter.com/YGTboW4LKQ
Whilst Keyonte will take the headlines with his brave play and big shots, Kelly Olynyk was metronomic in organising the team and making everything tick to time. In a night when Lauri Markkanen struggled and Jordan Clarkson couldn’t get going, Kelly capitalised on his Heat knowledge in driving to the rim early in his minutes and pivoting to distribution on his way to his 10 assists.
From a broadcast perspective, during the second quarter, former Jazz Guard (and current Heat analyst) John Crotty jumped on the call with Craig Bolerjack giving insight into his two stints with the Jazz from 92-95 and 00-02. Lovely memories shared with the Sloan, Stockton, Malone era.
The Utah Jazz are now 10-0 this season when 6 or more player in double-digits showing that by spreading the ball and point distribution, the Jazz are developing some culture of their own.