Melissa Majchrzak

Jazz prove depth in big win over Adelaide

by Aaron Falk

In their final home game of the preseason, Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder wanted to get a look at his team’s depth.

And after a 129-99 win over the Adelaide 36ers—a win featuring strong bench play in the second half–Snyder felt good about what he saw from the end of his rotation on Friday night.

“I was pleased with the way we tried to play,” he said.

Led by 16 apiece from guards Grayson Allen and Alec Burks, the Jazz bench combined for 87 points at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Forward Georges Niang (12) and center Ekpe Udoh (10) also had double-digit scoring nights off the bench.

The win over the Australian National Basketball League squad improved the Jazz’s preseason record to 3-0, but it wasn’t easy.

The Jazz started slow in front of a crowd of 18,074. Utah struggled to find its rhythm on offense. Derrick Favors, who started at center with Rudy Gobert resting for the night, was frustrated as he picked up four first-quarter fouls. The two teams traded leads half a dozen times and, at one point late in the first quarter, the Aussies led by a score of 27-19.

“We had some really good looks,” Snyder said. “We just didn’t guard and we didn’t get back in transition defense. People are attacking and we ended up fouling. You can’t just turn it on and off because you give a team confidence.”

Part of the problem for the Jazz on Friday night was 36ers guard Nathan Sobey, a member of the Jazz’s 2017 summer league squad. Sobey had a game-high 25 points on the night.

“We’re Nathan Sobey fans,” Snyder said. “We had him for summer league and he’s a heck of a player and a heck of kid. It was pleasure to have him with our group.”

A big Grayson Allen slam and three free throws from the Ingles helped close the gap to 31-28 by the end of the period.

Then, in the second quarter, Mitchell came alive. The shooting guard scored 18 points in the first half and the Jazz closed on a 21-9 run to take a 66-54 lead heading into the locker room for intermission.

From there, the Jazz bench took care of business in the second half as the team’s starters rested. 

Notable

Adelaide head coach Joey Wright played his college basketball at Texas, facing off with Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey’s Baylor squads. Two years ago, the Jazz invited Wright to Utah for the team’s summer league activities. “It was a great learning experience for me,” Wright said. “They were extremely gracious and paid for everything, put us up.” The 36ers’ assistant coach, Tracy York, followed in Wright’s path, spending last summer in Utah, learning from the Jazz staff. “You’re learning Xs and Os, you’re learning management and how to deal with people,” Wright said. “Just how the whole NBA experience works.” … Jazz center Rudy Gobert sat out of Friday’s contest to rest. … Danté Exum, Raul Neto and Isaac Haas all miss the game due to injury.

Up Next 

The Jazz continue preseason play when they travel to Portland to take on Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers on Sunday at 7 pm.