The Utah Jazz handled the Sacramento Kings in their regular season finale, creating a little bit of history in the process.
The 121-99 win ensured the Jazz finished the regular season with a 50-22 record, giving them the NBA’s best win-loss mark for the first time in franchise history.
Playing with Donovan Mitchell who remains sidelined with an injured right ankle, the game wasn’t totally without drama, as a loss would have seen the Phoenix Suns claim top spot in the West by virtue of holding the tiebreaker.
With that in mind, you could have excused Jazz fans for feeling on edge when the Kings raced out to a 25-13 lead with 3:08 to play in the first quarter. A 15-0 run to end the period quickly ended those concerns, with the Jazz running away with the game from that point on.
“As much as the accomplishment for me, you appreciate this group of men,” head coach Quin Snyder said postgame.
“You appreciate the opportunity to coach them. You appreciate what they’ve accomplished in the regular season. I want them all to enjoy this moment because I feel like if we do that, that transitions us to the mindset we need to have to try to play well in the playoffs, to compete and execute. That’s what these guys have done all year.”
– utahjazz (@utahjazz) May 17, 2021
Big man Rudy Gobert finished with 13 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks on the night, putting a bow on another dominant season that’s put him in the box seat for a third Defensive Player of the Year award.
“Coming from where we came from seven years ago, from not making the playoffs, building from scratch and building stone after stone, we were able to build a culture, build a team, build an identity. To be in this position today is pretty amazing,” Gobert said.
“Obviously it’s not our main goal. Our main goal is to get the championship. But we still have to enjoy these moments and be proud of the year and the work that we put in this year.”
– Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) May 17, 2021
Known for their defensive standards set by Gobert, it’s been a blistering offensive campaign from Utah, with some extraordinary shooting from beyond the arc the spark. The Jazz finish the regular season with the fourth ranked offence, pouring in 116.5 points per 100 possessions, only trailing the Brooklyn Nets, Portland Trail Blazers and LA Clippers.
Averaging 16.7 3-point makes per game on 38.9 percent, the Jazz became the first team in NBA history to connect on at least 10 triples in every game during a regular season.
The Jazz are the first team in NBA history with 10+ threes in every single game in a season.
– StatMuse (@statmuse) May 17, 2021
Led by Joe Ingles’ sizzling 45 percent mark from deep, the Jazz dropped 20+ threes in 17 games during the regular season, posting a 14-3 record in such performances.
Securing home court throughout also looms as a significant factor for the Jazz, with the team notching a 31-5 mark in their building, compared with the 21-15 road record. The Jazz will now wait for their opponent to be decided via the Play-In Tournament, with the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs all potential opponents.
“Those games are gonna be fun to watch. I’m excited to watch those games. And whoever we face, it’s gonna be a long journey, and we’re gonna be ready,” Gobert said.
The 2021 postseason with be the fifth straight playoff appearance for the Jazz, with the team yet to advance beyond the second round during the run.
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