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Jazz HC Details Words Used to Deny Collin Sexton's Request for Rest

Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson contributed big in the Utah Jazz's win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
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The Utah Jazz got off the schneid on Wednesday night, defeating the Los Angeles Clippers, 125-112, at home. Jazz Nation can now exhale in the wake of an exasperating five-game losing streak. 

The Jazz had six double-digit scorers, led by Jordan Clarkson's 33. Lauri Markkanen chipped in 23 points. 

All five Jazz starters finished in double figures, and Jarred Vanderbilt posted a double-double, scoring 14 points and pulling down 12 boards. Collin Sexton, starting at point guard in place of the still-injured Mike Conley, was an energetic spark for the Jazz, playing 30:30 minutes and finishing with 21 points, six assists, and six rebounds. Clarkson played nearly a whopping 40 minutes. 

Head coach Will Hardy was asked about Clarkson's significant uptick in minutes and how he walked the line of knowing when to pull him and when to push him. 

“If I’m being honest, I told 'JC' to take the timeout seriously because you’re not coming out," Hardy revealed post-game. "I said, ‘That’s just the way it is. I don’t want to hear you’re tired. Drink water and rest during the timeouts. You’re in a really good space right now for us and we need you.’ There’s obviously always moments where we have to take into account our players’ health and well-being and if they are sort of ‘red-lining,’ I guess, as they call it, you do have to get them a sub."

Let not your hearts be troubled, however. Hardy and Clarkson were in steady communication about the inordinate volume of minutes he received against the Clippers. 

"If there’s one thing I know about Jordan in the short time that I’ve been around him, he’s in unbelievable shape," Hardy said. "I feel like he’s never really tired and that started in training camp. He came into training camp just sort of shot out of a cannon every day, and never complains about fatigue. Again, those are feel moments—having conversations with the guys about trying to get them a rest." 

There was a moment deep into the fourth quarter where Sexton signaled to Hardy that he wanted to come out. Hardy denied him with some choice words he isn't about to share publicly. 

“Collin asked for a sub at some point six-and-a-half minutes, maybe, in the fourth," Hardy said. "I can’t say publicly what I said to him. I just told him to take the timeout seriously. ‘Drink some water and electrolytes and take some deep breaths, but you’re going back in.'”

It panned out for Hardy as the Jazz defeated the Clippers by 13 points and snapped the slump that had been weighing on the team for days. Hardy said that nobody in that Jazz locker room wavered during the team's five-game slide. 

"It was a team win and I’m really proud of the guys," Hardy said. "It’s been a tough last couple of games and they haven’t wavered in their belief and togetherness and nobody has pointed fingers at anybody. They’ve just taken their own piece of responsibility every day and just tried to get better. Looking forward to them taking care of their bodies tomorrow and get back at it on Friday.”

The 13-11 Jazz get a needed day off to rest their bodies before taking on the 12-8 Indiana Pacers on Friday in Salt Lake City. 

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