The Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-109 on Thursday night at Vivint Arena, snapping a five-game losing streak.
- Bojan Bogdanovic and Danuel House Jr. returned to the lineup for the Jazz, to wide open, welcoming arms. Bogdanovic had a bit of a quiet night in his return from missing nine straight games, but no one is going to be concerned about him. Bogdanovic knows how to get back into a rhythm. House made up for the fact that Bogey was a little off. House was great and did exactly what the Jazz needed him to do. He defended well, denied passes, got his hand into lanes for steals and deflections and made great passing choices. If anything, he could afford to be a little more aggressive with his own shooting, but he’s still getting comfortable in his role. He just fits into space in which the Jazz were lacking and he’s great at what he does.
More than what the two were able to produce on Thursday night is that they are back on the court and with just five games left to play, the Jazz need them.
- The Jazz’s ball movement was really impressive against the Lakers. Everything has to be taken with a grain of salt against a Lakers team missing LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but it was just good to see the Jazz play with great movement throughout the course of the game, not just in the first half or when they had a comfortable lead. They stayed pretty steady for the most part, even when the Lakers were threatening to come back.
- The same can be said for the Jazz running and pushing the ball. It’s been a while since I watched a game and felt like the Jazz were making a really concerted effort to push the ball and get transition points. Some of that comes from the defense but also the Jazz were pushing the ball after makes and they are great in the open court and shooting transition 3s.
“I think this is the best we’ve run in a while. Collectively.” — Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
- Fighting for rebounds and being tough matters, and the Jazz are good when they show their strength.
- Interesting choice for Quin Snyder not to play Rudy Gay at all in this one and instead play Juancho Hernangomez, who has been a really nice surprise for the Jazz. I doubt that this means Gay has lost his spot in the rotation to Hernangomez and I suspect it’s more about rest and preparation, but it certainly doesn’t hurt for the coaching staff to get some more time to look at Hernangomez and see what they can get out of him, and the more they see out of him the more they might realize that there are situations in which he could be more of a help.
“Rudy and I talked this morning. He came here because he wants to win. He understands that there’s going to be there’s a number of situations — I can list them off for you — where I think he gives us a higher ceiling … Some nights, guys are going to play more than others because of matchups and all those types of things. That’s something for our whole team to hang on to, and whoever’s out there to support each other.” —Snyder
- Makes for an interesting viewing experience watching an injured Anthony Davis on the sideline in street clothes while Dwight Howard plays important and impactful minutes. On the TNT broadcast, Stan Van Gundy, who coached Howard in Orlando, noted that Howard is likely to end up with the better career when all is said and done. Davis not being able to get anywhere substantial in New Orleans and then being hurt so often during his time in Los Angeles doesn’t make his case very good. Yes, he won a title and has been brilliant when he isn’t hurt, but it’s easier to remember the times he hasn’t played than those that he has played and that’s not great for the history books.
- The Jazz were fouling a lot early on and so often they weren’t smart fouls. Just need to clean up some of that ticky-tack unnecessary stuff.
- This was the Lakers and it was a shorthanded Lakers team so there’s not a ton of pride to be taken from winning this one, but the Jazz just needed to get one to break the skid and that’ll do just fine.
- Ahead of the game the Jazz announced that Hassan Whiteside, who has been sidelined because of what has been called a foot sprain, had been diagnosed with a “minor bone spur fracture. He can proceed, as tolerated.” What that essentially means is that Whiteside has a bone spur that is expected to heal on its own and he can play so long as the pain isn’t too much for him. But he didn’t play on Thursday, so …
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