Over the course of the final week or so, a lot of the narrative surrounding the Utah Jazz was that the upcoming stretch of powerful video games would show who they had been. Nicely, after wins over the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics, the Jazz had yet one more troublesome take a look at within the Milwaukee Bucks.
Joe Ingles, who was beginning within the place of injured Mike Conley, got here into this sport seeking to jingle some fools. He began sizzling, scoring the primary 9 factors for Utah, coming off three photographs from past the arc. He then adopted these up with a decide and roll pocket cross to Rudy Gobert, who unloaded a ferocious dunk proper within the face of Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Joe completed the primary half with 20 factors, teasing to Jazz followers all over the place that he could get a brand new profession excessive. Jordan Clarkson got here off the bench and instantly scored three factors off an and-one. As quickly as that went down, everyone knew he was gonna go off. And go off he did. Clarkson had the floater engaged on all cylinders, and he was even making some good passes.
Brook Lopez and Bobby Portis stored the Bucks shut with their shot making. Antetokounmpo was instrumental himself, though not via his scoring. He scored solely two factors within the first half, however nonetheless contributed with stellar protection, sturdy rebounding, and a few nice passes to shooters. Royce O’Neale was the first defender on Giannis for a lot of this sport, and particularly within the first half, he was very efficient. Royce offers up a variety of measurement in that matchup, however he labored and labored on each possession to make life troublesome for the back-to-back MVP. It was clear that Quin Snyder’s sport plan was to do every part doable to cease Giannis from attending to the ring. It’s a really tall job, however one which the Jazz had been succeeding in in the course of the first half.
Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert had been proudly owning the paint on each ends of the court docket. This was the primary time this yr that we noticed the “Wasatch Entrance” play prolonged minutes collectively. These minutes went as they have a tendency to. The Jazz protection was impenetrable, whereas it’s offense was considerably awkward. When Gobert and Favors noticed the court docket individually, they each had been dominating. Gobert was shutting down the paint to the Bucks on protection, and getting dunks or free throw makes an attempt on offense.
The Jazz had been sharing the ball very well tonight. Check out this totally ridiculous possession.
The Jazz led 69-52 at half time.
The early a part of the third quarter was when Utah was pushing it’s lead up over 20. Gobert was dominating, Donovan Mitchell was facilitating, and the Jazz had been having enjoyable.
Because the quarter went on, Milwaukee did what nice groups do. They went on an prolonged run. Antetokounmpo can’t be held again for lengthy. On this second half he confirmed why he has received two MVP awards. He attacked the basket relentlessly, displaying off his unbelievable bodily items. The person can simply dunk from anyplace on the court docket.
Because the Bucks clawed their method again into the sport, Jordan Clarkson, Donovan Mitchell, and Rudy Gobert took over for Utah. Clarkson continued to get into the lane and hit floaters, and sometimes made good passes out of his drives, like this one to Gobert.
Joe Ingles jingled everyone who thought he may set a brand new profession excessive. We should always all know by now, he will get to precisely 27 factors and stops scoring. My concept is that it’s out of respect for Rudy Gobert. The Bucks put up a powerful struggle, profitable the third quarter by three factors and conserving the fourth quarter even, however the Jazz weathered the storm and stored the lead within the double digits.
Jazz led by double digits for the ultimate 26:32 of the sport and led the ultimate 44:52
— David Locke (@DLocke09) February 13, 2021
Utah Jazz win 129-115.
Rudy Gobert: 27 factors, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, 9-12 subject objectives
Donovan Mitchell: 26 factors, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 13-14 free throws
Joe Ingles: 27 factors, 5 assists, 7-9 three pointers
Jordan Clarkson: 25 factors, 5 assists, 4 rebounds
Tonight marks the primary time in franchise historical past that 4 Utah Jazz gamers have scored 25 or extra factors in the identical sport.
Though there are 4 professional candidates tonight, Rudy Gobert is the simple alternative. Anyone watching this sport can see why he deserves to win one other Defensive Participant of the Yr. He was scaring Bucks away from the ring all night time. He was blocking Khris Middleton three pointers, he was grabbing rebounds, and, oh yeah he was scoring 27 factors as nicely. Rudy owned the paint on each side of the court docket tonight, and that’s actually arduous to do whenever you’re going in opposition to the Greek Freak.
The Jazz continued their dominance tonight, bringing their document as much as a franchise finest begin of 21-5. Take pleasure in this time, Jazz followers. This can be the very best that the Utah Jazz have ever performed.