SACRAMENTO, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Mike Conley #11 of the Utah Jazz smiles during the game against the Sacramento Kings on November 20, 2021 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. 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 Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Five Things To Know Following Utah's Win Over Sacramento

Between Mike Conley coming out aggressive and the Jazz getting it done at both ends of the court, Utah extended its winning streak to three games

In what was one of the most bizarre scenes anyone will ever see on a basketball court this year, both the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings waited aimlessly, laughing and covering their noses as the clean-up crew proved to be the real MVPs of the night.

With Utah leading by 14 early in the fourth quarter, the game was halted for 15 minutes after a fan threw up twice from his courtside seat near the beginning of Utah's bench.

When the court was cleaned and sanitized, and play resumed, the Jazz walked away with the victory, a 123-105 win over the Kings on Saturday night.

"Shout out to the cleaning crew because I definitely wouldn't have cleaned it up. … That probably would've stayed there for a long time," Jordan Clarkson said with a laugh. "At that point we was just flowin' and getting a little tired. … So they kind of helped us a little bit, get our breath back."

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

1.) Nothing Can Stop Utah When On Fire

But the Jazz aren't like most teams in the NBA. They're a veteran squad who know how to block out the noise and get the job done — and that's precisely what they did. 

The Jazz started the final 12 minutes up by four, but immediately went on a 10-0 run before the "incident" occurred. Jordan Clarkson scored after the break to complete the 12-0 run before Utah eventually ran its lead to 21 points before settling for the 18-point victory. 

"I thought we did a good job of keeping our concentration throughout the, definitely strange occurrence," head coach Quin Snyder said postgame. "Sometimes we've got to be willing to give ourselves up for each other, to just make plays for each people. And when we do that, whether there's one pass or no passes, you know, we can be really effective."

Snyder knows what he has in his team, a group capable of focusing on the task at hand and blocking out all other distractions — and the Jazz proved that again Saturday night.

2.) Mike Conley Aggressive Early On

It was the third time he had failed to reach double figures in scoring in four games, but he only put up four shots on Thursday. When asked about Conley's performance postgame, Snyder was adamant about how special his all-star point guard was that night.

"Frankly, Mike Conley dominated the game," Snyder said. "It says a lot about who he is as a player when he takes four shots and dominates the game. We had a lot of people contribute, but Mike in my mind, the way that he played to be that unselfish and facilitate. … Plus 33 jumps out."

Saturday night against the Kings was a different story for Conley — strictly in the box score, that is.

He went hunting for his shot early on, finishing with 12 points in the opening quarter en route to 17 for the game. While he only finished with two assists, he dished out multiple "hockey" assists that helped the Jazz drop 123 points, their highest scoring output of the season.

"Mike is making the right play," Rudy Gobert said. "He's gonna read what the defense gives him and then take advantage of that. When he plays, we want him to be aggressive and look for his shot first. … He's been amazing."

3.) Jazz Officially Breaking Out Of Early-Season Shooting Woes

It appears the Jazz were right all along.

Never panicking, second-guessing, or changing schemes, Utah's three-game winning streak is proof that the offense was fine all along — and that it was just a matter of time until the shots started going through the hoop.

For the third consecutive game, the Jazz shot at least 50% from the floor and 40% from beyond the arc. They're averaging 120.7 points per game during the winning streak, dishing out 27 assists and grabbing 10 offensive rebounds per game.

Utah has been beating its opponents by an average of 23 points during the past three games, further validating that this team is right where it wants to be nearly one-fifth into the season.

4.) Utah's Defense Beginning To Lock Down

After losing four of five games, all of which the Jazz gave up at least 107 points in the losses, they've turned things around on the scoreboard and in rating. 

Utah has been dominant on defense during the three-game winning streak by surrendering just 99.7 points per game. They're holding opponents below 45% shooting and 33% from three-point territory, outrebounding them by 14 during that span, and winning the offensive rebound battles and points in transition.

Their defensive rating is currently No. 9 in the league — and when combined with the No. 1 offense — their net rating of +9.8 trails only the Golden State Warriors.

"I think we had good communication in the pick-and-roll. … I don't know what the offensive rebounds were but we weren't giving up a lot," head coach Quin Snyder said postgame. "I thought, for the most part, our guards did a good job on the defensive glass. … And you know, if we can do that, we can really be committed to running."

It's been known for a while that the Jazz can beat anybody strictly from an offensive perspective. But now they're proving that even when the shots aren't falling, the defense is more than capable of picking up the victories.

5.) Donovan Mitchell And Rudy Gobert Still A Terrifying Duo

Although his numbers have quieted a bit since then, Gobert has still been nearly unstoppable down on the block. He's notched 13 double-doubles on the year, averaging 14.9 points, 15.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. 

The evolution in his offensive game has been impressive as he's performing much better when he catches the ball at the top of the key. Rather than bowling his way down low, Gobert is under control and either finishing at the rim or kicking it out to the corner for an open three-pointer.

With Gobert proving to be a menace down low, Mitchell has been playing at an all-pro level this season. 

He's averaging 24.4 points, 4.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game — one of our players in the league putting up those types of numbers. 

While his shooting percentages aren't at the level he's grown accustomed to, Mitchell did shoot 50% from the field and 42.9% from three-point territory against the Kings. Once his shot begins to fall at its typical percentages, look for Mitchell to take that next step into super-stardom. 


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