Lauri leads the way for the Utah Jazz

The Finnisher was in prime form tonight in San Antonio
Dec 26, 2023; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) goes up for a basket
Dec 26, 2023; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) goes up for a basket / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz hit the road once more on Tuesday, visiting Texas for a date with the San Antonio Spurs and their rookie wunderkind, Victor Wembanyama.

And on the day of the game, they got good news - rookie Keyonte George was cleared to play after a long absence. Though he didn't start, Keyonte would help the bench have a huge night.

The Jazz looked holiday-hungover early on, as they allowed the Spurs to open a lead that went as high as 17 points before cutting it to 5 by the end of that quarter.

Then the Jazz shook off the rust with the bench stepping up. Walker Kessler got several easy dunks, and the Jazz got things back under control, outscoring the Spurs 37-28 and getting a 4-point lead at the half, 64-60.

In the 3rd quarter, the Jazz withstood the Spurs and kept a 7-point lead heading into the 4th quarter, as the Spurs seemed to falter a bit against the Jazz defense.

In the final quarter, Lauri Markkanen came up with big 3's and the Jazz opened a lead as large as 20 points, before clearing the benches. The final was 130-118 for the Jazz in a win that didn't feel that close.

The Jazz bench had 63 points on the night, one of their best performances this season.

Lauri Markkanen finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds, for his 2nd game in a row of 30 points or more, and played some staunch defense on Spurs' rookie Victor Wembanyama.

Jordan Clarkson had 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists off the bench and looks more comfortable as a reserve, which bodes well for the Jazz moving forward.

Collin Sexton had a great shooting night, going 8-10 from the field for 20 points and added 6 assists.

Keyonte George, in his first game back from injury, had 10 points and 4 assists in 24 bench minutes and improved as the game went on.

The Jazz outrebounded the Spurs 53-43, and shot 49.5% from the field, 37.2% from 3, and 90.9% from the line.

The Jazz (13-18 record) now head to New Orleans (17-13) for a matchup with the Pelicans, who the Jazz beat twice already this season. With 6 wins in their last 8 games the Jazz are on their longest positive streak of the season thus far and with everyone healthy, should have a good chance at getting another road victory before returning home for a 3 game stint.

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