Lauri Markkanen thought he’d given his team the win with a one-legged, buzzer-beating final 3-pointer after Jarred Vanderbilt’s quarterback pass! However, after video review, its recording was cancelled, arriving too late, within a few hundredths of a second…
Instead of a heroic victory, the Jazz will have to settle for a wire-to-wire (117-115) loss against Sacramento (117-115) after Dec. 31 (126-125) after not being able to stop the game-winning layup over De’Aaron. Fox has 0.4 seconds left.
Unstoppable in the final quarter, the Kings guard, who scored 22 of his 37 points in the period, struck with several high-profile moves, including a spectacular dunk and a mid-range shot to put the Jazz away again and again.
It must be said that the latter should have been trailing throughout the third quarter and even into the fourth quarter. Sacramento took a +7 lead in that case with 3 minutes and 30 left, but Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen pushed for a comeback and even tied it a few times.
Despite 28 points from Lauri Markkanen, including a perfect 15-of-15 shooting, Utah must bow for the fifth straight time. Another upset loss for Utah, who have lost their last five games by a paltry 17 points. Infuriating!
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Extremely tense end of the match. The NBA made no mistake about it and dedicated a full-fledged video to this breathtaking end of the match! Down 7 with just over 3 minutes left in the game, Utah tied the game with 20 seconds left after a deft layup by Mike Conley followed by a cool three-pointer from Lauri Markkanen. At the same time, the Kings didn’t give the dog their share, with De’Aaron Fox more clutch than ever at all levels of the offense: dunk, layup or mid-range shot. In this case, he would make the difference 0.4 seconds from the end… after Lauri Markkane’s incredible late kick was canceled out in the extreme!
– De’Aaron Fox’s Final Quarter Madness. A 22-pointer on 9/10 shooting in the final round, he was simply unstoppable with his combination of speed and technique. Only three players have done better in the 3rd quarter this season: Darius Garland (27 points), Joel Embiid (26 points) and Jayson Tatum (23 points).
✅ De’Aaron Fox. De’Aaron Fox hit 37 points for the third time this season, but this was probably his biggest game of the three, and he had a real mastery of 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting in the final quarter.
✅ Domantas Sabonis. Despite the thumb injury, the Lithuanian continues to perform wonders. After his perfect game of 12/12 shooting, Balti finished with another impressive double-double inside with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists, all on a very good 8/13 shooting.
✅ ⛔ Lauri Markkanen. The unfortunate hero of the evening has no right to blame himself too much for his last act. His one-foot shot was a model of that kind… Prior to that, the Finn had impressed with a perfect 15/15 shooting line with 28 points and 8 rebounds. Unfortunately, he didn’t hit his target from long range (1/7 from 3-point range).
⛔Kelly Olynyk. Facing Domantas Sabonis, a former Gonzaga like him, Kelly Olynyk was martyred. Limited to 5 points, plus 6 rebounds and 4 assists, Canada’s interior was mostly ripped on 2/7 shooting, including 1/4 from long range. A disappointing poor performance in such a tight match…
Sacramento (20-16) : Atlanta hosts Wednesday to start a five-game home streak.
Utah (19-21): Thursday night visit to Houston.