Mike Conley was not named an All-Star reserve Tuesday night. Neither was he named as the replacement All-Star participant in leu of the absence of Anthony Davis.
But he came out blazing against the defending champion Lakers on a National Broadcast, scoring 8 of the first 10 for the Jazz and not missing until the second half.
After Mike Conley carried the Jazz through the first quarter, the rest of the Jazz got going in the second quarter, putting up 39 points. Several coming from Jordan Clarkson.
Clarkson came out to play against his former team, shooting with uninhibited ambition. And they went in.
The very game following breaking the franchise record for three-pointers made in a game (28), the Jazz tied the franchise record for threes in a half, ringing in 14 through the first two quarters. Even though the newly-minted Salt Lake Splash Brothers went just a combined 3-9 in the game.
The Lakers clearly made it a point to stick to shooters in the second half but the Jazz answered by spreading the floor and running pick-n-rolls with Rudy--resulting in several alley-oops for the big man. The frustration for the Lakers was evident. After one Gobert dive and dunk, Harrel turned and yelled at Kyle Kuzma, who was covering Bojan Bogdanovic (5-8 from three in the game) in the weakside corner, for not rotating and cutting off the Gobert roll. Kuzma just shrugged and pointed at Bogdanovic.
The choice of stopping Gobert's rolls or sticking to shooters has confounded opponents all season and has been a key to Utah's success, even on nights when their leading scorer Donovan Mitchell, is shooting poorly.
And while Donovan was struggling to hit shots, he still found ways to make winning plays.
All in all, Mitchell went just 4-16 from the field but he finished with 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals, all to just 1 turnover.
The Jazz had six players score 12 or more points, to just three for the Lakers. Leading to the largest deficit the Lakers have faced this season, 29 points.
Up next, the Jazz will take on the Miami Heat Friday.
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