San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 21: Rudy Gay #22 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots the ball against the Utah Jazz on February 21, 2020 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

The Roundup—Utah Jazz come out flat in first game after All-Star break, fall to the Spurs 113-104

by Aaron Falk

The Utah Jazz went into the All-Star break with the league’s longest winning streak. They came out of it with a little too much rust.

The Jazz kicked off the NBA’s second act with a 113-104 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“We got what we earned tonight,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “Give San Antonio credit. They came out and played with force. They were not just the more aggressive team but the more aggressive team by a long way.”

The Jazz were a step slow from the tip, but things really got away from them late in the second quarter. The Spurs went on a 17-2 run with the Jazz hitting just one of their 10 attempts over the final five minutes of the period. Utah went into the locker room trailing 65-46 and were never able to recover from the deficit.

“They just played like they didn’t have an All-Star break, like they were ready to go,” said Donovan Mitchell (12 points, 4 assists). “We didn’t come ready to play from the jump.”

The Jazz shot just 42.7 percent from the floor (36.4 from 3-point) and they turned the ball over 17 times, leading to 18 points for the Spurs. But it was the team’s defensive effort that was the focus of talk in the locker room afterward.

“We just played bad,” said guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who had 18 points and five rebounds off the bench. “We had no physicality. Our defense wasn’t there. We were playing bad.”

Spurs guard Dejounte Murray scored a game-high 23 points, leading six San Antonio players in double-figures.

Friday's Best: Rudy Gobert

Coming off a double-double performance in his first All-Star game, Gobert was one of the only Jazzmen to pick up where he left off. The Stifle Tower had 18 points, 14 rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. It was Gobert’s 43rd double-double of the season.

Key Stretches

The Jazz started the game 1-for-8 from long range and trailed 27-21 after one quarter. Rudy Gobert had 6 points and four boards in the period.

Bojan Bogdanovic went 0-for-5 in the first quarter. But the Croatian forward got going in the second, knocking down two triples as part of a 12-2 run to make it 46-42 midway through the second.

Things started to fall apart in the final minutes of the half, as the Spurs closed the period on a 17-2 run. The Jazz hit on just 2 of their 11 shots over the final 5:25 of the period.

The Spurs led hovered around 20 for another quarter and a half before Utah’s reserves, led by Jordan Clarkson and Emmanuel Mudiay helped cut the lead down to 10 with 4:13 to play. But the Jazz were unable to complete the comeback.

Significant Stats

-10

While the Jazz turned the ball over 17 times, they forced San Antonio into just seven giveaways.

50

The Spurs like to do their damage in the midrange. On Friday night, San Antonio went 16-for-35 between the paint and the 3-point line. Perhaps a bigger issue: the visitors went 10-for-20 from the other side of the arc.

Notable

• When Gregg Popovich got the chance to work with Donovan Mitchell last summer, the Spurs and Team USA coach challenged the current Jazz guard to channel a former one.

“He worked really hard on making good decisions and understanding everything that was going on in the game, trying to be more of a Stockton-type point guard,” Popovich said Friday at Vivint Smart Home Arena. “Nobody can be John Stockton. But I also used to talk to Tony [Parker] about that. Just get a little more John Stockton in you. Know everything that’s going on on the court. [Donovan] understood that and he’s getting better and better at it.”

• Jazz point guard Mike Conley sat out Friday’s game against the Spurs, part of a strategy to manage an old knee injury. The veteran guard has recently rested on the second game of a back-to-back set. By sitting out Friday, Conley is expected to be available Saturday against the Houston Rockets.

• The Jazz kick off the season’s second act with a five-game homestand.

“The crowd is always good. You can find everything here,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “But we need to come out, no matter where we’re playing, and play at a level we’re going to need to finish the way we want to finish.”

Up Next

The Jazz will be back at Vivint Smart Home Arena on Saturday night to host James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Tipoff is set for 7:00pm MT.

Find Tickets

Tags
NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter