The Utah Jazz struggle on the road against the Chicago Bulls.
The Utah Jazz had a road game against the Chicago Bulls in the Windy City on Monday night. For a change they faced an opponent that was on their level – both teams had identical 2-5 records heading into the game.
Early on, the Bulls forgot they were a 31% shooting team from 3-point range on the season. They outscored the Jazz 37-32 in the first quarter. The Jazz turned the ball over early and often, especially Jordan Clarkson and Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Jazz had 14 turnovers in the first half alone, which led to a 66-52 halftime deficit.
In the third quarter, the Jazz tried to cut the lead and did get within 12, but the Bulls countered each Jazz rally. There were a few nice plays by Keyonte George, leading to baskets for others, but also several turnovers and a painful 3 that he gave up to Alex Caruso near the end of the quarter. That pushed the lead back to 20 for Chicago.
By the 4-minute mark of the fourth quarter, the Chicago Bulls had a 121-99 lead and were shooting 57% from 3-point range for the game. At that point, Will Hardy emptied the bench to bring Luka Samanic, Colin Sexton, Simone Fontecchio, Kris Dunn, and Omer Yurtseven on for some garbage time minutes, as the Bulls ended up winning 130-113.
A few thoughts about tonight’s Utah Jazz game:
Kelly Olynyk does a lot of things right, with the right lineups around him. He had 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists in 23 minutes.
John Collins should be utilized at the top corners of the paint (the elbow) more often. He likes to start out by the 3-point line but seems more effective a bit closer.
Walker Kessler had a great night, with 15 points, 15 boards, and 4 blocks in 31 minutes. He looked more engaged, even in a losing effort.
Lauri Markkanen continued his 3-point barrage, having his 6th straight game with 4 makes or more. The Bulls were quick to double him in the post and kept a 2nd player near him much of the time. He finished with 29 points to lead all scorers.
Talen Horton-Tucker and Jordan Clarkson were AWFUL tonight – combining to shoot 5/19 from the field, scoring a total of 12 points, with 7 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 turnovers. The Jazz need to seriously consider a lineup change at this point.
Collin Sexton was a net positive (+1) in his 16 minutes, with 14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and just 1 turnover, on 60% shooting from the field. He was the only player with 11 minutes or more to accomplish this for the Jazz.
Once again, the Utah Jazz struggled with the turnovers, giving up 30 points off of 22 turnovers for the game. And the Bulls had open looks from 3 most of the night, especially in the corners. The Jazz have to get better at guarding those shots or other teams will eat them alive.