SALT LAKE CITY — With 6:04 left in the first quarter, Joe Ingles was blocked.
Why was that random missed shot notable? Well, it marked the first possession the Jazz didn’t come away with points. Yes, Utah opened up the game scoring on its first ten possessions and things never really got much better for the Kings.
The Jazz used a dominant first quarter to run away from the Kings 123-101 Saturday at Vivint Arena.
Utah improved to 29-13 with the victory.
After Ingles missed on the first shot of the game, just about everything went right on the offensive end for Utah. And even that miss wasn’t too bad — Rudy Gobert grabbed the rebound and slammed it in.
That started a stretch of near-perfect offensive basketball for the Jazz.
Bojan Bogdanovic drove inside for a layup. Donovan Mitchell used a hard jab step to clear a defender and drilled a 3. Royce O’Neale made a quick touch pass to Bogdanovic in the corner who hit a 3.
Later, Gobert caught a Mitchell lob pass with one hand slammed it in and Bogdanovic finished off the run with a stepback 3-pointer.
“We've got a group, they play for each other,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “When you do that, the basket gets bigger. Everybody shoots the ball with confidence because they feel like they're supposed to. There's never a 'my turn.' It's always 'our turn.'”
By the time Ingles’ floater was blocked, the Jazz had a 14-point lead, had just made nine straight shots and had made it very clear that it would not be the Kings’ night.
“Well let’s start by giving the Jazz credit,” Kings coach Luke Walton said. “They took us out of everything we wanted to do.”
The Jazz led by as many as 27 points on Saturday and had four players reach 20 or points, led by Bogdanovic’s 30. Utah was also able to answer Sacramento's pushes in the third and fourth quarters to keep the Kings at arm’s length.
But despite the dominant win, it wasn’t the best night for many of the Jazz fans across the state. Many cable subscribers who tuned in to watch the game were met with a rerun of a college basketball game that was airing on AT&T SportsNet due to what the Jazz described as an “equipment failure” on the AT&T side. DirecTV and Dish Network customers were not affected.
“An equipment failure with our AT&T contractor has prevented broadcast signals to reach our regional fans,” the Jazz said in a statement. ‘We apologize to our fans missing the game and are working with our partners to find a solution.”
AT&T SportsNet later explained in a statement that it was a “transmission failure” that only affected cable homes.
“The redundant system that manages how game telecasts are distributed to cable systems failed,” AT&T SportsNet general manger David Woodman said in a statement. “Despite immediate and continuous efforts by broadcast engineers to fix the problem, it was not resolved before the conclusion of the game. We sincerely apologize to those Jazz fans who were not able to watch tonight’s game.”
Those who couldn’t watch missed Bogdanovic go for 30 points on 10-of -5 shooting, Gobert finish with 28 points and 15 rebounds, and the return of Mike Conley.
When Conley checked in he was given a loud ovation and his first possession was the highlight of the game. The Jazz connected a string of passes that eventually led to a wide-open 3-pointer for Mitchell in the corner.
Conley, who had a minute restriction, only played 15 minutes, finishing with three points, three assists and a rebound. His 3-pointer in the fourth quarter put an end to a mini-Kings run that had cut the lead to 14.
“What can I ask for? Two days ago, I wasn’t playing, so fifteen minutes is a lifetime for me,” Conley said.