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5 Hard Takeaways from Jazz's Seventh Loss of the Season

What did we learn from the Utah Jazz's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers?
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The Utah Jazz were defeated, 121-114, by the Los Angeles Clippers in another showtime thriller. What did we learn, and what can we expect from the Jazz against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday?

Let's dive in. 

5 Double-Digit Scorers

The Jazz were without the services of veteran point guard Mike Conley, due to a knee injury. Missing the starting point guard would be daunting for any team unless that team is the Jazz. 

Conley's absence was noticeable, but the Jazz came to defend their No. 1 Western Conference ranking and finished with players in double-figures, led by Jordan Clarkson's 26 points, Lauri Markkanan's 25, Kelly Olynyk's 19, Talen Horton-Tucker's 14, and Collin Sexton's 10 points. 

10 Jazzmen received game minutes, and each player scored, grabbed at least one rebound, and all but one player had an assist. That is team production at its finest and a great accomplishment without the starting point guard in uniform.

Will Hardy Continues Teaching Less is More

Coach Hardy stated, "We are going to play hard and share the ball." 

When you observe the Jazz in competition, this is exactly what you see: good, old-school, hard play, and sharing of the orange. The players are not looking over their shoulders if they make a mistake, as they know the team contribution will dictate playing time. 

When Jazz players deviate from the team concept, they are escorted to the bench. Coach Hardy is more than prepared for the rigors of the NBA, even in his first season. Jazz Nation can rest easy from the coaching perspective because, more often than not, Hardy will not lose games due to unmonitored errors and not paying attention to detail.

Jarred Vanderbilt's Leg Whip Cost Jazz Momentum

In the fourth quarter against the Clippers, Vanderbilt decided to trip point guard Reggie Jackson, and this play was not accidental. Jackson remained on the floor for several minutes while grabbing at his knee. 

Jackson eventually shot two free throws as Vanderbilt's foul was reviewed and upgraded to what is defined as Flagrant-1, and the Clippers retained the ball. This play was pivotal for obvious reasons, and Jazz Nation can wonder why any player would purposely kick and trip an opponent. 

Vanderbilt was benched for the remainder of the game, and rightfully so. You can never blame a loss on one play, as all plays count. However, if there was a play that cost the Jazz momentum, points, and a possible injury to an opponent, this was it.

Jazz Struggle to Contain Jackson & Powell

The Clippers received solid contributions from Jackson, who scored 27 points, and Norman Powell, who came off the bench to toss in 30 points. Center Ivica Zubac scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Referee Controversy Hurts Jazz

With about 1:30 remaining in the game, Horton-Tucker made a reverse lay-up after trucking Clippers guard Amir Coffey. The initial call was a blocking foul against Coffey that cut the Clipper lead to 117-114, with Horton-Tucker headed to the free-throw line for a chance to cut the Clipper lead to two points. 

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue used an in-game challenge, and the officials reversed the initial call to a charging foul against Horton-Tucker, which erased two points, making the score 117-112. I reviewed this call a number of times and it should have remained a block as there was nothing concrete to overturn to a charging foul. 

This call, along with Vanderbilt's error, cost the Jazz a game.

What it Means

The Jazz officially have a target on their back, and teams now realize they will be in a battle when the 801 shows up. This was an unfortunate loss and has to sting a bit, but we can expect the Jazz to bounce back in a big way against the Pistons on Wednesday. 

The Jazz may score more points than they have all season.


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