OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - NOVEMBER 24: Donovan Mitchell #45 and Mike Conley #11 of the Utah Jazz celebrate during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 24, 2021 at Paycom Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Five Things To Know Following Utah's Win Over Oklahoma City

Despite what the numbers may show, the Jazz played some of their best offense in Wednesday's 110-104 victory over the Thunder

When Utah walked off the court on Wednesday night against Oklahoma City, there wasn't the usual sigh of relief after playing in a close game.

Instead, the Jazz felt proud of their 110-104 victory over the Thunder. 

They understand that regardless of the opponent, it's challenging to win road games in the NBA. It's even more difficult to win games when your shot isn't falling regardless of the good looks. Yet Utah, instead of crumbling under pressure, found a way to get the win by continuing to grind.

"Rudy (Gobert) was a monster late defensively, and Donovan (Mitchell) closed the game. … That's a pretty good formula," Utah head coach Quin Snyder said postgame.

Here are five things you need to know following the win:

1.) Offense A Lot Better Than The Percentages Show
Looking at the box score, one would think Utah's execution on offense was subpar against the Thunder on Wednesday night. 

The Jazz finished the game shooting 45.3% (39-for-86) from the floor and 31.9% (15-for-47) from three-point territory. In the first quarter, those numbers were even lower when Utah managed just 21 points on 32.1% from the field and 18.8% from beyond the arc.

But those numbers are wildly misleading.

Snyder believes that the first quarter was some of the best offense Utah has displayed this whole season — the shots just didn't go through the hoop. 

"I thought we played as well as we have the entire season offensively, particularly in the first quarter," Snyder said. "I mean, the ball was moving. … We just didn't make shots. I felt like we could've had a 15-20 point lead in the first quarter."

When speaking postgame, Donovan Mitchell reiterated that same message. It wasn't just the first quarter though, he felt that the team executed the offense at a very high level. 

"I don't think the score reflected the way we played as a group," Mitchell said. "We had some breakdowns, but we did a lot of good things that we can look back on and be proud of." 

It's a scary thought that Utah's shots might not be falling, and they still found a way to score 110 points — good luck to anyone when the shots do.

2.) Rudy Gobert Dominates On Both Ends
Despite being named to the all-NBA third team for the past three years, some in the game still refuse to believe in Rudy Gobert's greatness. 

Although he genuinely doesn't care what others think of him, Gobert played Wednesday night as if he had a point to prove. He notched his 15th double-double of the season with 15 points, 17 rebounds, five blocks, and two steals, finishing with a game-high +13 rating. 

Even with the five blocks, Gobert altered nearly double that amount of shots as he took complete control on both ends of the court in the crucial fourth quarter when the Jazz needed him most. 

Most impressively, he was able to feature his ever-expanding repertoire on offense. He showed some impressive footwork when he got a steal, dribbled the length of the court before finishing with a euro-step and two-handed dunk. It was the sort of play that he might not have been able to do a few years ago but now looks extremely comfortable making in a crucial part of the game.

His ability to take over the game in critical moments has been a welcome revelation for the Jazz, and something opponents have yet to figure out how to stop this year.

3.) Jordan Clarkson's Offense Continues To Evolve
When he first came into the league, Clarkson was best known as a pure shooter and scorer, capable of catching fire and winning a game on his own.

As he's gotten older and matured, Clarkson's shot selection may still be the same — albeit more efficient — it's the other aspects of his offense that are having the most influence on the Jazz.

Over his past four games, Clarkson has been averaging 4.0 assists, a significant rise compared to his 2.5 career average. He's not only seeing the court better, he realizes that he doesn't always have to have a score-first mentality. His ball movement and willingness to find the open man is something that's reverberating throughout the team.

"We were just moving the ball, finding the open man. A lot of us were passing up good shots for great shots," Clarkson said.

He's always going to be somebody who can score a bunch of points in a hurry and win a game on his own. But the reigning sixth man of the year is now showing that he's far more than just a pure scorer; he's the entire offensive package.

4.) Mike Conley Stays Aggressive Looking For His Shot
Coming off his first all-star selection last season, Conley proved that he's in that upper echelon of point guards in the NBA.

Although he's not a pure scorer like Steph Curry or an all-time assists man like Chris Paul, Conley's ability to do both — including play great defense — is largely why the Jazz have the NBA's top offense. 

After a recent five-game stretch where Conley failed to shoot the ball at least 10 times in a game, including a four-shot outing against Philadelphia, the Jazz implored him to be a little more aggressive in looking for his shot.

Message received.

Against Oklahoma City, Conley finished with 18 points and four assists, shooting 6-of-12 from the field and 4-for-10 from beyond the arc. His aggressiveness in looking for his shot and attacking the pick-and-roll with a vengeance has helped open up the entire offense for the team.

It was his third consecutive game where he took at least 10 shots in a game, averaging 18 points and 4.8 assists per game during that span. 

An aggressive Conley is a dangerous Conley, and it's exactly what the Jazz envisioned when they signed him to a new three-year contract this past offseason.

5.) Jazz Make Adjustments On Rebounding And Transition
The first time these two teams met in the season opener, Utah emerged with a 19-point victory.

Although the win was good, the Jazz struggled in keeping the Thunder off the offensive glass and points in transition — giving up 15 offensive rebounds and 10 fast break points.

While those numbers may not seem that big of a deal considering the Jazz got the win, it did unearth some points of struggle for the team. According to Snyder, those struggles have continued for much of the season, even costing the team a win or two.

Those issues were not a problem on Wednesday night.

Making a much conscious effort in those two areas, Utah limited Oklahoma City to just four offensive rebounds and four fast break points, a significant improvement from the first meeting.

"I think we're giving effort, there's just some lapses in concentration," Utah head coach Quin Snyder said postgame. "I thought our transition defense was better. A couple of situations where we just have to be a little more disciplined, but I think our focus and our effort was really good."


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