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Jazz rally comes up just short as Mitchell's late 3 goes wide



Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

MIAMI — Donovan Mitchell ran off the screen, caught and fired.

If you want the glass half-full approach of Saturday's game in Miami, it was this: That shot meant something.

The half-empty one? Well, that's quite obvious: It missed.

Mitchell's 3-point attempt with 10 seconds remaining went well wide of the rim and Utah's frantic comeback came up just short in a 118-115 loss to Miami.

The Jazz trailed by as many as 19 points in the fourth quarter before the furious rally to at least get a look at the end.

Mitchell had 37 points and seven assists, and Mike Conley finished with 18 points and seven assists to fuel the late rally. But five minutes of stellar play wasn't enough to overcome some spectacular shot making from the Heat.

Was that the shot they wanted?

"Donovan Mitchell's been going pretty good," coach Quin Snyder said. "And having the ball in his hands, turning, thought he had a clean look."

A clean look, maybe, but not the cleanest of looks. Mitchell ran past Bojan Bogdanovic hoping to shed Jimmy Butler who was hounding him. That didn't exactly work. When Mitchell caught the ball, Butler was right there and went right up with him to contest the shot.

"I didn't see Jimmy on my side," Mitchell said. "I like that shot, I like going that way — I thought I got fouled, thought I couldn't land — but it didn't go in."

With that, the Jazz lost an early-season battle between two of the top teams in the league.

There was some extra juice to Saturday's game. It was two top teams with full rosters after both Mitchell and Kyle Lowry, who were nursing ankle injuries, were able to play. Then it only amped up after Lowry and Jordan Clarkson got into a shoving match early in the game, and Hassan Whiteside was heavily booed. It all crescendoed into a near-epic comeback led by a young star.

Was it the biggest moment of the season so far for either team? Probably. Will it be at the end of the season? Not even close.

"It's game nine," said Lowry when asked about the importance of the win.

Perspective is a heck of a thing.

Mitchell knows he'll watch film and see the things that potentially could have altered the game. Like the time he chose to take a shot over Butler in the corner instead of trying to navigate into the paint, or when he was beat down the court for a layup. He can think of the major coaches challenge in the final minutes by Eric Spoelstra that changed a Butler offensive foul into a block from Whiteside, or the push-off foul called on Mitchell after he made a shot.

"I had zero rebounds. Like, that's not like me. Seven assists is great, but I had zero rebounds," Mitchell said. "You look at the things that show up in the stat sheet in a game like this."

The stat sheet will make one thing clear: Utah's early-season luck ran out in Miami.

As a team, Miami shot 52.4% from 3-point range and 60.3% from the field. Utah hadn't faced a night like that all season.

The Jazz have been among the worst shooting teams in the league in the first few weeks of the season. That's been a surprise considering their vast amount of shooters and the looks they've often generated. The Jazz's offense has been good; they just haven't shot well — and yes, there's a difference.

But it hasn't been too detrimental, either. Why? Their opponents were shooting 24.5% on wide-open 3s. You'll win a lot of games when the other team is just missing. Miami didn't miss that much.

Tyler Herro scored 29 points and was 6 of 8 from 3-point range, and Lowry had his 19th triple-double while shooting 3 of 5 from deep. It was that shot making that allowed Miami to build a 19-point cushion with 5:55 remaining.

Soon after, however, the Jazz went on a 13-0 run to make things quite interesting at the end.

"There's things we'll be able to take from this game and use to get better," Snyder said. "I think we saw that as the game went on. That said, part of this is being able to play a certain way, the whole game. I thought the way that we competed, especially late, it would have been easy to just to cave."

Sounds like the glass half-full approach.

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