The Utah Jazz snap a 4 game-losing streak and beat the Magic 131-124 in what feels like a game the Jazz could’ve won by 20. Lauri Markkanen led all scorers with 31 points on just 22 shots. Walker Kessler led the team as a +15 with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Utah led for most of this game and had multiple opportunities to stretch the lead, the cliché is silly cause they won but the Jazz were clearly the better team tonight.
The truth of the matter is while this game had shades of #tanknote, it is going to be very hard to lose if Lauri and Kessler are playing 30+ minutes. In the final minute of the game both 7-footers made huge plays to ensure a Jazz win, down 1 with 35.1 seconds left Walker Kessler grabbed an offensive board and put it back up for an and 1 to put the Jazz up 2. Lauri decided the game was gonna be over when up 1 with 10.1 seconds left he drove right through a flurry of defenders and threw up a ridiculous floater to put the Jazz up 3. If #tanknote is taking a backseat to our two 7 feet kings being the best players on the court then that is just the way the cookie crumbles. The only issue I see is that we’re dangerously close to getting a terrible nickname for the 7ft duo, my only hope is it’s better than the classic twin towers nickname.
The 32-35 Jazz are now .5 games behind New Orleans for a spot in the play in, they’re also .5 games out of being 13th in the west behind OKC and Portland. The Jazz moved up to the 12th worst record in the league and if we didn’t have a lottery would currently be picking at 12. Ultimately the Jazz would do themselves a favor to get into a better spot in this draft lottery, they will have plenty more chances to lose as their schedule gets increasingly tougher with just 15 games left to go in this season.
Worth mentioning: Talen Horton-Tucker is stringing together a couple of interesting games in a row, the 22 year old is playing a lot more point guard since trading Mike Conley in February, tonight he scored 23 points and added 8 assists. Talen becoming more of a playmaker bodes extremely well for not only the future of the Jazz but his future in the league.
Up next: Jazz face a struggling Charlotte team on Saturday.