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Jordan Clarkson gave Utah the emotional boost it needed to keep going despite a fan trying to shake him.
Clarkson scored 23 points, Rudy Gobert had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Jazz struck the San Antonio Spurs for their fourth straight win on Monday night with 110-104.
« I thought we did a great job tonight at moving (and propelling) the ball, » said Gobert. « We were able to score points due to our defense in the transition phase. »
The Jazz were without the injured security guard Donovan Mitchell. Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray missed his second straight game while in the league’s health and safety protocols.
San Antonio made an 8-0 run to within 108-102 with 22 seconds remaining after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich emptied the bench, but Clarkson sealed the win with two free throws.
Clarkson, who is from San Antonio, did so minutes after hitting an on in the final minutes of the fourth quarter Seated fan facing the edge of the field.
The eight-year-old guard was annoyed by a no-call when he tried to shoot and didn’t walk down the court in time to prevent a 3-pointer from Doug McDermott with 4 minutes remaining. Utah called out when San Antonio was within 94-80, causing the fan to stand up and yell at Clarkson.
After initially ignoring the fan and going to the Jazz Bank, Clarkson said the fan « crossed the line » with his comments but did not repeat what the fan said. Clarkson stopped, turned, and walked towards the fan until his teammates stopped him and security got between them. Security escorted the fan out.
« The guy keeps teasing me, almost challenging me like, ‘What are you going to do?' » said Clarkson. « After saying a lot. I make money, I’m not trying not to lose money. I’m going to lose more money than he’s going to lose. He’ll likely just be kicked out of the game. We play basketball and have fun. Fans have to learn, we are human, we are human too. That just can’t fly. ”
Bojan Bogdanovic had 19 points and Joe Ingles added 17 for Utah who won 12 out of 14.
Derrick White scored 21 points and Doug McDermott added 17 for San Antonio who finished his season high in three games.
« Overall, it was a good game to improve, understand how we have to play and what it’s about, » said Popovich. “I’m actually happy.”
The Spurs came into the game with an average of 111.8 points, the third best offense in the league, but the Jazz closed that off after a quick start.
“They do an excellent job at Push the ball and we didn’t allow them to get those 3s, « said Jazz coach Quin Snyder.
The lack of a leading scorer for each team initially did not hamper either attack. Both shot better than 60% in the first quarter and together they shot 24 for 40.
Utah opened a 15-point lead and scored eleven hits in a row in the second quarter. Gobert’s presence affected the Spurs’ short jumpers and layups. San Antonio went 7 for 26 in the second quarter and failed on a field goal for 5 1/2 minutes.
Gobert finished the game with three blocks but changed numerous shots in the second and third quarters when Utah took over.
Jazz: Mitchell is expected to miss at least two games after straining his back in the first quarter of Saturday’s win over Dallas. … Mike Conley has 1,300 career steals. … Utah is 14-3 against the west. … Udoka Azubuike (ankle) and Malik Fitts (shoulder) both injured and missed the game. … The Jazz limited their previous 10 opponents to 108 points per game.
Spurs: San Antonio had scored at least 110 points in their last 10 games. It was her longest such streak since the eleventh straight streak in March 1984.… Keldon Johnson made his 100th career start in his 118th game with the Spurs. Only Tim Duncan (118 starts), David Robinson (116), Willie Anderson (115), Tony Parker (113) and Sean Elliott (106) had more career starts in the same period. … Jock Landale shoots 64% on 3-pointers. … The Spurs are 8-13 against the West.
No. 7 Ohio State and No. 10 Utah visited Disneyland on Monday to celebrate their Rose Bowl appearance
Ja Morant scored 33 points, including of a 0.5 second layup that gave the Memphis Grizzlies a 114-113 win over the Phoenix Suns.
DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points, Zach LaVine added 30, and the Chicago Bulls won their fourth game in a row and defeated the losing Atlanta Hawks on Monday night with 130-118.
Jaylen Nowell scored 29 points and Nathan Knight added 20 points and 11 rebounds, leading the shorthanded Minnesota Timberwolves to a 108-103 win over the Boston Celtics
All Times EST Tuesday, December 28, Top 25 Men’s # 1 basketball at Baylor vs. Northwestern St., 8:00 p.m.
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