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When Utah left the field Wednesday night against Oklahoma City, there wasn’t the usual sigh of relief after playing in a close game.

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

They understand that regardless of the opponent, it is difficult to win road games in the NBA. It is even harder to win matches when your shot does not fall, no matter how beautiful it is. Yet Utah, instead of crumbling under the pressure, found a way to win by continuing to grind.

“Rudy (Gobert) was a monster at the end of the defense, and Donovan (Mitchell) closed the game. … It’s a pretty good formula, ”Utah head coach Quin Snyder said after the game.

Here are five things you need to know after winning:

1.) Offense much better than the percentages show
Looking at the box’s score, you’d think Utah’s offensive execution was lower than the Thunder on Wednesday night.

The Jazz finished the game shooting 45.3% (39-for-86) from the ground 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 from 32.1% from court and 18.8% from beyond the arc.

But these numbers are extremely misleading.

Snyder thinks the first quarter was one of the best offensives Utah have posted this season – the shots just didn’t go through the hoop.

“I think we played as well as we have the whole season offensively, especially in the first quarter,” said Snyder. “I mean, the ball was moving.… We just didn’t shoot. I felt like we could have had a 15-20 point lead in the first quarter.”

Speaking of post-game, Donovan Mitchell reiterated the same message. It wasn’t just the first quarter though, he felt the team executed the offense at a very high level.

“I don’t think the score reflects the way we played as a group,” Mitchell said. “We had a few breakdowns, but we did a lot of good things that we can remember and be proud of.”

It’s a scary thought that Utah’s shots might not fall, and they’ve found a way to score 110 points anyway – good luck everyone when the shots do.

2.) Rudy Gobert dominates on both sides
Despite being named to the all-NBA third team for the past three years, some players still refuse to believe in Rudy Gobert’s greatness.

Although he really doesn’t care what other people think of him, Gobert played Wednesday night like 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 high-13 +13.

Even with all five blocks, Gobert changed almost double that number of shots as he took full control on both sides of the pitch in the crucial fourth quarter when the Jazz needed him most.

Even more impressive, he was able to present his constantly expanding repertoire in attack. He showed impressive footwork when he got a steal, dribbled down the field before finishing with a euro step and a two-handed dunk. It was the kind of game he might not have been able to do a few years ago, but now he seems extremely comfortable playing in a crucial part of the game.

His ability to take control of 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 entered the league, Clarkson was best known as a pure shooter and scorer, able to catch fire and win a game on his own.

As he ages and matures, Clarkson’s shot selection may still be the same – although more effective – it’s the other aspects of his attack that have the most influence on the Jazz.

In his last four games, Clarkson has averaged 4.0 assists, a significant increase from his career average of 2.5. He doesn’t just see the pitch better, he realizes that he doesn’t always need to have a scoring mentality first. His ball movement and willingness to find the open man is something that reverberates throughout the team.

“We were just moving the ball around, finding the man open. A lot of us were shooting good shots for good shots, ”said Clarkson.

He will always be someone who can score a bunch of points quickly and win a game on his own. But the reigning sixth man of the year now shows he’s more than just a goalscorer; it’s the whole offensive package.

4.) Mike Conley remains aggressive in search of his shot
After his first all-star selection last season, Conley proved himself to be one of the top echelon of playmakers in the NBA.

While not a pure goalscorer like Steph Curry or an all-time passer like Chris Paul, Conley’s ability to do both – including playing excellent defense – is a big part of the reason the Jazz have the best offense in the NBA.

After a recent five-game streak where Conley failed to shoot the ball at least 10 times in a game, including a four-stroke outing against Philadelphia, the Jazz implored him to be a little more aggressive in the game. search 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 of 10 from beyond the arc. His aggressiveness in seeking his shot and attacking the pick-and-roll with vengeance helped open the whole offense for the team.

It was his third game in a row 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 that’s exactly what the Jazz envisioned when they signed him to a new three-year contract last offseason.

5.) Jazz makes adjustments to the bounce and transition
The first time these two teams met in Game 1 of the season, Utah earned a 19-point victory.

While the win was good, the Jazz struggled to keep the Thunder out of the offensive glass and transitioning points – giving 15 offensive rebounds and 10 quick break points.

While those numbers might not seem that big considering the Jazz took the win, they did reveal some wrestling points for the team. According to Snyder, these struggles continued for much of the season, even costing the team a victory or two.

These questions were not a problem on Wednesday night.

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

“I think we’re trying hard, there’s just a bit of a lack of focus,” Utah head coach Quin Snyder said after the game. “I thought our transition defense was better. A few situations where we just need to be a little more disciplined, but I think our focus and effort was really good.”




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