Simmons came off the bench for the Nets and provided a big defensive boost to the bench, but the Nets didn’t need him all that much as they torched the Jazz all night from three, and in defensive intensity. Brooklyn was 21-45 from three for the game, which is a blistering 46.7%. All night the Nets were knocking down threes, but it wasn’t just that, Utah turned the ball over 17 times. But that number doesn’t do justice to how chaotic the Jazz were offensively. The Jazz had three possessions where they gave the ball up without even crossing half-court. Utah went on some runs and even got the lead down to single digits at one point, but Brooklyn would answer every time and eventually took the will out of the Jazz.
Collin Sexton and Lauri Markkanen struggled in this one, especially Sexton. Sexton was 1/10 from the field and couldn’t seem to find his shot. To his credit, he adjusted during the game and dished out 7 assists, but Utah really missed his consistent scoring, which wasn’t there tonight. Markkanen was 4/12 from the field with just 13 points. He struggled to get the ball at times with the Nets’ length and just never found ways to punish the Nets. Brooklyn is a team filled with multiple long wings to throw at you, so it makes sense they could give him trouble. It brings up some questions about what the Jazz need to do down the road to be able to match up with teams like Brooklyn and if they can gain advantages.
For some bright spots, John Collins had some moments in this one finishing at the rim on lobs and putbacks. For the game, he was 7/10 from the field and has been playing well overall the last stretch of games. Also, Keyonte George had a nice night scoring the ball. George hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter, and you could see his confidence grow. For the game, he was 6/11 from the field and 3/7 from three for 21 points with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. If there was anything from this game to be happy about, it’s that. George has not had a ton of opportunities to play as freely as I’m sure he’d like with all the vets on the court, so on nights like tonight, when he gets those chances and plays well, we should appreciate it.