“It’s Not Effort, It’s Mental Focus” | Utah’s Winning Streak Ends In Los Angeles

It is time to relaxation and reset.

Coming into Wednesday night time with a six-game successful streak, Utah struggled within the closing minutes of the fourth quarter and fell 106-101 to the Lakers. 

“When the sport did get shut, I assumed that we might’ve completed extra collectively in execution conditions,” head coach Quin Snyder stated. “It isn’t effort, it is psychological focus. … It is treating each possession as essential. Our offense harm our protection. … We did not execute and it gave them life.”

Within the remaining sport earlier than the all-star break, Utah will now have an opportunity to get absolutely wholesome and make a late-season push for the postseason. Already firmly within the playoff image, the Jazz will give attention to staying a top-four seed and making a run at the next seed. 

However to take action, they’re going to have to determine methods to ensure a repeat of Wednesday night time would not occur.

Utah was firmly in management and the considerably higher crew for the primary 42 minutes of the sport, main 92-80 with simply over six minutes to play. However that every one modified because the Jazz misplaced psychological give attention to the duty at hand and LeBron James caught hearth — resulting in the late-game collapse.

“They name him (James) the best participant of all time. … Some may dispute that, however I am calling him that,” Snyder stated. “When the sport did get shut, I assumed that we might’ve completed extra collectively in execution conditions. It may possibly’t be that simple to surrender a lead. … We acquired to make groups work and grind.”

Regardless of the loss, Donovan Mitchell was sensational. 

He completed with a game-high 37 factors on 13-of-23 taking pictures from the ground and 5-for-11 from past the arc. He added 5 assists, 4 steals, and three rebounds.

He shined most within the opening half, utilizing an array of strikes to create offense at will. From attending to the rim to midrange jumpers and pictures from deep, Mitchell was absolutely in his bag of tips, and the Lakers had no reply for him.

However the place he actually shined brightest was within the third quarter. 

As Los Angeles made a way more concerted effort to stop him from getting such simple seems to be, Mitchell affected the sport in different methods. As an alternative of forcing the offense, he calmly discovered the open man or made the right learn as Utah’s offense remained extremely environment friendly. 

“That is only a reminder that we have to preserve going,” Mitchell stated. “In a approach it’s a superb reminder however I’m uninterested in figuring issues out like this by means of losses.”

Needing the win way more than the Jazz, Los Angeles got here out on hearth as Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook mixed for an early 11-0 lead. However Mitchell was the spark Utah wanted, scoring 5 straight factors en route to fifteen within the quarter because the Jazz battled again to tie it at 27 after the primary.

Mitchell stayed sizzling within the second quarter, scoring seven of Utah’s remaining 11 factors because the Jazz continued to grind and entered the half up 53-46.

Regardless of struggling at factors within the third quarter and taking part in like they had been “up by 40,” Utah prolonged its result in 13 late within the quarter. However James ended the third with back-to-back layups because the Jazz led 79-71 coming into the ultimate 12 minutes.

Utah did not appear fazed coming into the fourth as a pair of Hassan Whiteside free throws made it a 12-point sport earlier than the Jazz misplaced management. The Lakers went on a 16-2 run to take a two-point lead earlier than a pair of Mike Conley free throws tied it up with just below two to play.

After Los Angeles took a four-point lead, the Jazz staged one final comeback when Bojan Bogdanovic knocked down a three-pointer to make it a one-point sport with 37.6 to play. Sadly, a defensive miscommunication led to an Austin Reaves three-pointer with 17.4 to play, placing the sport out of attain.

“It did not harm, we did not really feel it,” Mitchell stated about giving up the lead. “There isn’t a approach we must always’ve misplaced this sport, we let this sport slip in many alternative circumstances. As a bunch, we acquired to discover a solution to win this sport, plain and easy. … We acquired to discover a solution to win this sport and we simply did not.”

Bogdanovic completed with 15 factors whereas Jordan Clarkson added 13 off the bench. O’Neale scored 10 factors within the third quarter and added seven rebounds and three steals.

James completed with 33 factors, eight rebounds, and 6 assists, dropping 15 factors within the fourth.

Utah now heads into the all-star break needing some relaxation to get wholesome. They return to motion on Friday, Feb. 25 with an enormous showdown at house in opposition to Luka Doncic and Dallas. Tipoff is ready for 7 p.m. MST.

“An evening like tonight is discouraging, nevertheless it’s not one thing we’re going to overreact too. … We acquired to lock again in and make this push within the second half,” Mitchell stated.

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