The Utah Jazz destroyed the Brooklyn Nets 88-118 as Donovan Mitchell led the way with 27 points for the home team. The nationally televised game had the makings of a blowout from the opening minutes as the Western Conference’s No.1 team raced out to a 16-4 lead less than five minutes into the first quarter.
The Jazz never let up, making 11 of 26 threes in the first half alone and 23 of 55 for the game (41.8%). It was a dominating performance against a Brooklyn Nets team that was missing its three All-Stars in Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant.
The win strengthened the Utah Jazz’s hold as the Western Conference’s top team, aside from owning the best record in the league at 32-11. For the Brooklyn Nets, the loss brought them down to third place in the East with a 30-15 record as the Milwaukee Bucks took second place at 29-14.
Here are our five hits and flops from the lopsided game between the Nets and Jazz:
Hit: Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
While some players relax against an undermanned squad, Donovan Mitchell was not that kind of player tonight. He was aggressive right from the get-go.
Mitchell attacked the Brooklyn Nets defense and was on-point with his decision-making for the Utah Jazz.
The Utah Jazz's two-time All-Star scored 20 points in the first half and dished the rock to his teammates for five assists. He finished with 27 points, six rebounds and seven assists. He also shot an efficient 11-of-18 from the field, including 5-of-8 from three.
Even with a 35-point lead, Mitchell never left his foot off the gas pedal. He drained a three in the third quarter to extend his side's lead to 38 points shortly after driving the lane for a layup. This was his mentality in the entire game, and he was the main reason why the Utah Jazz didn’t play down to their opponents.
Flop: Jeff Green (Brooklyn Nets)
Jeff Green needed to step up in the absence of the Brooklyn Nets’ Big 3. Though he’s no longer a spry young man, his skills, experience and veteran savvy should have made him the alpha dog tonight.
“Uncle Jeff” was aggressive in shooting the basketball from the start, seemingly determined to take over the scoring load for the Brooklyn Nets. However, the veteran forward mostly shot blanks, making just 2-of-11 shots from the field in the first half.
In the second quarter, Green had an opportunity to go straight to the hoop during a fastbreak, but he was unsure. He ended up going for it, but it was too late as the Utah Jazz defense had already set, and he missed the shot badly.
The Brooklyn Nets veteran sat out the entirety of the second half.
Hit: Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley (Utah Jazz)
Shooting just 24.5 percent from the field in his last five games, Bojan Bogdanovic needed to play well with very little pressure on his shoulders. The Utah Jazz forward didn’t waste his chances in the 24 minutes he was on the floor against the Brooklyn Nets.
Bogdanovic had 18 points on a very efficient 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. He positioned himself well for open spots on the floor, and the Utah Jazz’s guards easily found him.
Mike Conley was his usual steady self throughout the game. While he only played 25 minutes, he made use of his time on the court wisely. Just like Mitchell, Conley showed his professionalism by not looking down on the injury-riddled Brooklyn Nets.
The Utah Jazz's 14-year veteran guard took the ball to the hole and pulled up for jumpers within the first five minutes of the game. He let Mitchell take charge of the playmaking chores and took care of the basketball well with zero turnovers, preventing the Brooklyn Nets from getting easy baskets. He had 18 points, four rebounds and two steals in the end.
Flop: Jordan Clarkson (Utah Jazz)
If there was one Utah Jazz player who didn’t show up, it was super-sub Jordan Clarkson. He generally looked like he was forcing shots as if he was on the playground.
Arguably the leading candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year, Clarkson was a no-show for this game. He shot an atrocious 1-of-15 from the field for a measly three points for the game. In an otherwise incredible year for the Utah Jazz guard, this was one to forget.
Hit: Alize Johnson (Brooklyn Nets)
For a player on a 10-day contract, Alize Johnson came out of the gates determined to prove that he belonged in the NBA. This was his first game of the season for any team, and he looked good in the Brooklyn Nets uniform.
The third-year product of Missouri State took advantage of garbage time and put his 33 minutes to good use. With no one on the Brooklyn Nets seemingly interested in making a dent in the Utah Jazz’s humongous lead, it was Johnson who mixed it up under the boards with the big guys and hauled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
The Brooklyn Nets newbie was also active and aggressive on the offensive end as he scored a team-high 23 points on a super-efficient 11-of-15 shooting from the field.
In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, with the game already in the bag for the Utah Jazz, the 6-foot-7 forward still strolled down the lane to receive a pass for a dunk. If this was a preview of things to come, Johnson is going to be an excellent backup at the forward spot for the Brooklyn Nets.