The Utah Jazz already knew they were starting behind the eight ball on Thursday night, with Gordon Hayward, Rodney Hood, George Hill and Derrick Favors all out of the lineup versus the Golden State Warriors, but, it was how the game unfolded in the first quarter, that defined how this game would finish at Vivint Smart Home Arena and it would end with the Jazz dropping to 14-10 on the season.
It was early in the game, really early, in fact, but the Jazz had 4-0 lead and then the wheels fell off or Golden State just found their stride. The Warriors would then go on a 29-1 run and all of a sudden, this game was over before it started. Fortunately, for the Utah Jazz fan base, getting down big, that early in the game, didn’t sway the Jazz in this 106-99 defeat, but it instead showed the mental toughness of a team depleted by injuries, and the potential they could have, if they play a full 48 minutes and of course, aren’t arguably missing their 4 best players in the lineup.
The Jazz cut this lead down to single digits and to a more than manageable 5 points, before Kevin Durant took initiative and quickly stole the momentum in the blink of an eye. Joe Ingles had just cut the lead to five points, after nailing a 3 pointer with just under 9 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. The very next play on defense for the Jazz, proved to be the unraveling, as Ingles, who scored a career high 21 points on the night, was whistled for a foul, after Kevin Durant came down the court and initiated contact with Ingles from beyond the three point line, prompting the referee to call a foul and Durant making all 3 free throws. A questionable call at best, but still a call that the Jazz can overcome, if Utah doesn’t dig themselves such a huge hole in the first quarter.
Silver lining in this game is the Jazz lost to a team that is clearly better then themselves, but there is also a lot to learn from and take away in this game, including the continual rise of Rudy Gobert, who should be an All-Star, but might not find a spot this season, even though the numbers should really speak for themselves, as Rudy continues to show his dominance, getting 15 points, 15 rebounds and registering a block on the night. It’s only the tenth time all season that Gobert has had 2 blocks or less in game, thus proving his rim production.
Up next for the 14-10 Jazz is Saturday night at home versus the Sacramento Kings, who will host New York on Friday evening, before traveling to Utah for the second, of a back to back.
Quin Snyder Postgame:
Joe Ingles Postgame:
Shelvin Mack Postgame:
Rudy Gobert Postgame:
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