MEMPHIS — Bojan Bogdanovic sat at his locker getting his right hand wrapped in ice. That was poetic. And as Donovan Mitchell looked over, he simply couldn’t resist.
“You better ice that hand,” Mitchell yelled in slightly more colorful language.
Bogdanovic was hot in Memphis. And he was hot in Indianapolis. And Salt Lake. And pretty much everywhere else he’s gone this season. But unlike some of the previous games, this time the Jazz kept going to him in their 103-94 win over Memphis on Friday.
Heck, the ice was probably needed for his extended use more than anything else.
Bogdanovic came back into the game with 9:54 left. From then to the end of the game, he took nine shots. That wasn’t by accident.
Two days ago in a loss at Indiana, Bogdanovic didn’t have a field goal attempt in the final period. On Friday, the Jazz made a conservative effort to get the ball in his hands. And Bogdanovic didn’t disappoint.
In the fourth quarter alone, he was six of nine for 16 points and dished out two assists to lead the Jazz to the win. He finished with a game-high 33 and was four of eight from 3.
When he came back in the fourth, the Jazz were down by a point. They ended up winning by nine.
“I think that our team, that’s part of what we are figuring out,” coach Quin Snyder said about the Bogdanovic-centered fourth quarter. “At different points of the game, different guys have opportunities to impact. It’s a credit to our players they are feeling the game that way.”
Bogdanovic did a little bit of everything. He beat defenders off the dribble for layups, he posted up for stepback jumpers and he even hit a floater. And throw in a few 3-point shots and it was a very well-rounded offensive performance from a player who is quickly becoming known by Jazz fans as a very complete offensive player.
“You give it to him when he’s got it going, and he’s had it going for the last few weeks,” Mike Conley said. “We are going to keep riding and let him do his thing until somebody stops him.”
He’s proving to be quite difficult to stop. He’s averaging 21.5 points on 48% shooting and is hitting a ridiculous 46.6% from 3 on seven attempts this season.
And he has a knack for the moment, too. He's already hit a clutch game-winner and on Friday, his 3-pointer with 1:42 left gave the Jazz six-point lead.
Some of his shots were due to the nature of the Jazz’s natural ball movement. Others, though, were his teammates just letting him take control of the offense.
That was the part that was different in Memphis. Usually, it’s Mitchell that has the ball at the end. But the young Jazz star was more than happy letting Bogdanovic run the show.
“It showed how unselfish we are, especially Donovan,” Bogdanovic said. “He’s our best player and he’s supposed to take last shots in the last couple of minutes. But he told me to take the ball, take the last shot.”
Mitchell didn’t have his best shooting night in Memphis, hitting on just 7 of 22 from the field. While there were some looks that he forced; others he just missed. The good thing with having Bogdanovic next to him is he no longer feels like he has to keep shooting no matter what.
“I got like 90% of the looks I wanted, they just weren’t falling,” Mitchell said. “In previous years, I’d continue to shoot them, but now I don’t have to.”
In moments, he can defer to Bogdanovic and let him bring the Jazz home — just like he did on Friday in Memphis.