Mike Conley let Rudy Gay take a tech, and then shot the Jazz to victory


Estimated learn time: 2-3 minutes

HOUSTON — Early within the fourth quarter, Mike Conley stepped as much as the foul line to take a technical free throw. He by no means shot it.

As Conley ready to shoot, Rudy Homosexual got here up and roughly pushed Conley off the road.

Why?

Homosexual needed to see one undergo the ring. On Sunday in opposition to Phoenix, in his first recreation again on account of an damage after which an sickness, Homosexual went 1 of 5 from the sector. He wasn’t any higher in opposition to Houston on Wednesday, taking pictures simply 1 of seven — his solely make coming as a layup. So, yeah, Homosexual needed to make a shot.

So he went as much as his previous pal and requested him if he may take it. Really, he roughly instructed him he was going to do it.

“He walked up and mentioned, ‘I want one,'” Conley mentioned when requested concerning the encounter. “A man wants a chance to see the ball go in while you’ve missed a number of and have to get a rhythm.”

Conley mentioned one thing like that occurs pretty ceaselessly; it is simply a part of the workforce looking for one another. It is higher if Homosexual finds a rhythym than if he would not.

So Conley let Homosexual take the shot, however with one essential caveat: “Do not miss it.”

“I mentioned, ‘I perceive you, brother. Go forward and do it,'” Conley mentioned. “If he missed it, I used to be going to offer him hell.”

Homosexual made the free throw, which was a shot that ended up being fairly essential on the finish of the sport.

Will that one shot assist Homosexual discover some contact going ahead? That continues to be to be seen, however it’s a great factor Conley did not want the try on Wednesday.

Conley was simply 1 of 6 himself on the time Homosexual came to visit and requested for the ball. It seems, he discovered the vary with out it.

It was Conley’s late taking pictures that helped rescue the Jazz from what would have been a foul loss in Houston. On Utah’s ultimate offensive possession of regulation, Donovan Mitchell broke the paint and located Conley open within the nook. Conley, who had gone 0 for 3 from 3-point vary as much as that time, buried the shot with 8.3 seconds left to interrupt a late tie.

When the sport was despatched to time beyond regulation, Conley got here by once more, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers with below two minutes remaining to assist seal the win.

“To get alternatives and moments that I am type of accustomed to being concerned in, and Don and the blokes having belief to make these performs down the stretch, felt good to ship and be there for them,” Conley mentioned

Added Quin Snyder: “I am not considering he is having a foul night time. Watching him shoot, I feel it is getting into. That is what his teammates really feel as effectively.”

Even when he did not have the additional free throw.

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“It Feels Different, It Looks Different” | No Egos Lead To Massive Victory



Lastly wholesome, the Jazz seem like fulfilling their heightened expectations as they’ve emerged from the all-star break dominant on each ends of the courtroom.

Utah regarded to show {that a} victory over Luka Doncic and the hard-charging Dallas Mavericks was no fluke after they flew south to face first-place Phoenix. Behind a dominant effort from the bench and the continued greatness of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz held off a fourth quarter cost and took down the Suns 118-114 on Sunday afternoon.

“It feels completely different, it appears completely different, you realize what I imply?” Mitchell stated postgame. “I am excited as a result of it is similar to you stroll off the ground you are feeling gassed, you are feeling like every little thing was simply left on the market by all people.”

Listed below are 5 issues to know following the win:

1.) Bench Offers Massive Enhance
Getting into the season, the Jazz had been broadly thought to be one of many deepest groups within the league. Aided by sixth man of the 12 months Jordan Clarkson, runner-up Joe Ingles, and free agent additions Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Homosexual, Utah’s greatest drawback was discovering minutes for everybody.

Nonetheless, Clarkson has struggled for elements of this season, Ingles has been traded to Portland, Homosexual has battled accidents, and Whiteside’s play has been up-and-down. This meant that Utah’s once-vaunted depth was struggling, and likewise, so was the crew.

However one thing has modified of late, and the Jazz as a crew are thriving with the assistance of its second unit — as evidenced by Sunday’s victory.

Utah’s bench was dominant, outscoring the Suns 43-11 as Clarkson, Whiteside, Danuel Home Jr., and Trent Forrest all performed 12 or extra minutes and completed with a score of +13 or larger. Likewise, Phoenix’s main gamers off the bench performed 13 or extra minutes, and all completed with a -12 score or decrease.

Getting that contribution from their second unit is what the Jazz anticipated earlier within the season, however it’s taken time to suit the entire new items collectively. With roles clearly outlined and everybody understanding the expectations, Utah appears as formidable as ever heading down the ultimate stretch.

“With among the further depth that now we have, now we have alternatives to play guys,” head coach Quin Snyder stated. “That type of collective mindset and no matter it takes mentality, is one thing that is actually vital, and I believe it is uncommon.”

2.) Utah Comes Up Clutch. … Once more
Within the last recreation earlier than the all-star break, the Jazz blew a 13-point fourth quarter lead in a loss to the Lakers. Regardless of dominating for 3 and a half quarters, all anybody may discuss was the blown lead — and with it got here questions concerning Utah’s lack of ability to shut video games this season.

Now two video games post-break and it seems the Jazz should not the identical crew they had been simply two weeks in the past. In victories over Dallas and Phoenix, Utah has needed to both overcome a deficit or maintain on to a lead, engaging in each in very spectacular trend.

After coming from behind towards the Mavericks, primarily as a result of play of Mitchell and Gobert, Utah was in a position to maintain off a ferocious rally from the Suns as a result of play of its bench.

The Jazz turned a nine-point deficit early within the third quarter right into a five-point lead heading into the ultimate 12 minutes. They then held off a fierce rally as Phoenix hit three three-pointers within the final three minutes — however the Jazz had a response each time. Whether or not it was a three-pointer of their very own or their capability to get stops, Utah deserves all of the credit score on the earth for arising clutch. … Once more.

3.) Whole Staff Effort
What makes this Utah crew so distinctive is that the egos are legitimately checked on the door. The aim of the crew outweighs the collective objectives of the person, and the Jazz have used that to their benefit — in any other case, they by no means would’ve crushed the Suns.

Usually, Royce O’Neale is on the courtroom on the finish of video games. As Utah’s premier perimeter defender and glue man, his contribution can by no means be ignored. However towards Phoenix, Snyder elected to go along with the new hand in Home, a current signee with the crew.

Whereas Home was pivotal within the victory, primarily for his protection on Devin Booker late within the recreation, O’Neale served as his greatest supporter — one thing that caught the attention of everybody on the roster.

“You take a look at Royce within the huddle and after the sport, and he was as excited as anyone,” Mitchell stated. “That is what makes this crew so particular. If we need to win, we’re going to need to put the egos apart. We’re going to need to belief the workers.”

“Danuel was doing a superb job, and Royce was the primary one on the bench speaking to him,” Snyder added.

Whereas O’Neale will greater than possible play down the stretch in lots of key video games, the truth that the Jazz have a number of choices solely will increase the crew’s energy.

4.) Welcome To The Jazz, Danuel Home
As talked about above, Snyder elected to go along with the brand new man down the stretch, and Home greater than rewarded him for that confidence.

His mixture of size and quickness on protection was one thing the Jazz had been lacking for many of the season, which is primarily why opposing guards thrived down the stretch towards them.

However Home was exactly what Utah wanted, a whole annoyance who simply hustled and located himself in the proper spot on the proper time. His capability to change on protection and contest photographs bothered the Suns late, leading to a +16 score.

“He is simply competing on the market. He ain’t afraid of no one. … And it is contagious,” Gobert stated of Home.

“Give him completely different appears, simply not make it simple,” Home stated of how he defended Booker. “He is a gifted scorer, in fact. … So, it was my job to make it tougher. I believe we did a superb job tonight, me, Royce (O’Neale) and the gang did a extremely good job of creating it laborious tonight. I imply, yeah he was 50%, however 24 shot makes an attempt for 30 factors. Pshhh, you may’t beat it.”

5.) Let The Good Occasions Roll
It has been confirmed that the Jazz can rise to the event and take down among the high groups within the NBA. However with what has been an issue for a lot of the season, can Utah simply dispatch among the lower-ranked groups?

Consistency has been their greatest challenge this 12 months, however after successful eight of 9 — together with victories over Golden State, Dallas, and Phoenix — the Jazz will now face Houston, New Orleans, and Oklahoma Metropolis of their subsequent three video games. The Pelicans sit at No. 10 within the Western Convention Standings whereas the Rockets and Thunder are the underside two groups.

It is one factor to beat the nice groups, but when Utah is targeted and prepared for a postseason cost, they will not waste time with others and deal with enterprise.

“We won’t cease. … We’ve Houston subsequent,” Mitchell stated. “Are we going to go and play properly, or are we going to behave like we received a championship as a result of we received a few video games? We actually need to maintain taking part in the best way now we have been taking part in. … That is going to be vital going ahead.”



Russian ex-official: Putin’s plan is full victory by March 2 | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Former Russian deputy overseas minister Fedorov says the primary days of March are necessary within the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

Andrei Fedorov, former deputy Russian overseas minister, has advised Al Jazeera the subsequent few days are key in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as President Vladimir Putin’s preliminary order was to “full the navy operation with a victory by March 2”.

Fedorov stated on Sunday he was hopeful of introduced talks between the 2 international locations as Moscow continues its full-scale assault on its neighbour.

“There needs to be talks happening with out preconditions. I do know the place of my buddies in Kyiv and the management of Ukraine. They’re prepared to take a seat and to speak, however with out precondition,” he stated.

Ukraine and Russia have agreed to carry talks at a venue close to the Belarusian border, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated earlier within the day.

The talks, the primary introduced since Russia unleashed a full-scale invasion of Ukraine final week, could be held with out preconditions and are the results of a cellphone name between Zelenskyy and his Belarusian counterpart, the Ukrainian chief stated.

Powerful resistance

Fedorov additionally stated the resistance in Ukraine and sanctions put in place by the West have been stronger than what Russia predicted earlier than the violence began.

“As I stated as soon as … please, as a result of I do know Ukraine, nobody will meet Russian troops with flowers. It is a actuality,” he advised Al Jazeera.

On the sanctions, the previous deputy minister stated: “They at all times suppose that, OK … we’re an enormous nation, we’re an excellent nation. We’re supplying you with gasoline and oil. You’ll by no means use sanctions … such sanctions once more. That is actuality for at the moment and it’s triggered quite a lot of issues over right here now.”

Ukraine’s Western allies have slapped unprecedented sanctions in response to Russia’s land, sea and air invasion.

“For the primary time ever, the European Union will finance the acquisition and supply of weapons and different gear to a rustic that’s beneath assault,” European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen stated on Sunday.

She stated the EU would shut its airspace to Russian plane, together with the non-public jets of Russian oligarchs.

The bloc will ban Russian state-owned tv community Russia Immediately and information company Sputnik. Von der Leyen stated this was to render them unable to “unfold their lies to justify Putin’s conflict and to sow division in our Union”.

“This Was A Significant Win For Us” | Clutch Fourth Quarter Leads To Big-Time Victory



Earlier than Friday’s recreation in opposition to Dallas, Donovan Mitchell mentioned the Jazz understood their state of affairs. A tough January left the crew decrease within the standings than they’re accustomed too — and when mixed with struggles of consistency, Utah wasn’t performing on the ranges anticipated.

“I believe for us, we have got some work to do,” Mitchell mentioned on Thursday. “We all know that, and you may inform with all people’s function and actions. … Guys are able to go. We obtained to go on the market and discover methods to win and compete on the highest stage.”

Towards Dallas on Friday, the Jazz proved Mitchell right.

Struggling to comprise the Mavericks’ scorching capturing for almost all of the night time, Utah discovered a method to win with stealer protection and well timed offense. The duo of Rudy Gobert and Mitchell lived as much as their all-star alternatives and utterly dominated late within the fourth quarter as Utah rallied from an early deficit to win 114-109.

“This was a big win for us,” head coach Quin Snyder mentioned. “I assumed, notably with these two guys (Mitchell and Gobert), what we noticed from them, simply the sacrifices that each one of our guys made at varied instances within the recreation for the better good. … I used to be actually pleased with our effort in opposition to a crew that is nearly as good as anyone within the league proper now.”

Amongst these sacrifices Snyder was speaking about got here from Mitchell and Gobert.

One of many elite scorers and one-on-one gamers within the league, Mitchell discovered himself in a distributing position late within the recreation, resulting in the clutch buckets. Gobert, one of the best and most feared rim protector of the final decade, discovered himself removed from the rim and defending all-NBA guard Luka Doncic on the perimeter when it mattered most.

Regardless of each gamers being out of their consolation zones, they thrived below stress.

“It seemed actually good, it felt actually good,” Mitchell mentioned of he and Gobert’s efficiency. “Once you slender it down, we did what we had been purported to do.”

Down two with simply over two minutes to play, Mitchell took over as the first contributor regardless of having a game-high 33 factors. His penetration, capability to dissect the protection, and go out of double groups led to a 7-0 run as Utah put the sport away.

For Gobert, there’s been a variety of discuss how he cannot defend on the perimeter — even when the numbers have all the time been barely in his favor. Not solely did Gobert show as soon as once more what he is able to, but it surely additionally got here in opposition to the most effective gamers within the recreation in opposition to Doncic.

After Doncic hit a three-pointer with simply over three minutes to present the Mavericks a two-point lead, he went 0-for-5 from the ground the remainder of the best way — and Gobert performed a big half in that.

He not solely blocked one in every of Doncic’s photographs, however he additionally defended him on 4 of the possessions the place he missed photographs, forcing Doncic into robust contested photographs.

“The numbers have been in my favor. … The notion has by no means matched the numbers,” Gobert mentioned. “It was a bodily recreation, however Luka all the time pushes. So if they are not going to name that, then they should not name the rest. I did not assume there was sufficient contact to name a foul.”

“He (Luka) is aware of I am making an attempt to remove his stepback,” Gobert added. “Then he is driving and I do know he’ll attempt to use my physique after which cease, so I’ve obtained to remain balanced and take in the contact. Then he’ll attempt to get me within the air, so I’ve obtained to remain down.”

After saying he believed the Jazz wanted to discover a method to compete on the highest stage, Mitchell did simply that within the showdown with Doncic. Not solely did he drop 33 factors, he shot 11-for-19 from the ground and 7-of-12 from three-point territory, a season-high in makes from past the arc.

Gobert additionally adopted swimsuit, notching his first double-double since Jan. 23 when he completed with 14 factors and 17 rebounds. He added three blocks and two assists, showcasing the kind of total play that proves he can be an issue on each ends of the court docket because the season goes on.

With simply 2.5 video games separating these two groups within the standings, the sport was as shut as anticipated for 2 playoff groups vying for positioning.

The Mavericks got here out scorching to start out, main 9-2 early on earlier than Mitchell knocked down his first three-pointer. After climbing again to path by two, Utah used a fast 6-0 run to take the four-point lead — however Dallas responded with its personal 9-2 run to guide 34-31 after one.

The second quarter was a battle of runs. Each time the Mavericks appeared poised to drag away, the Jazz discovered a method to shut the hole. Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson mixed for 15 factors as Utah discovered itself trailing 67-60 on the break.

No matter changes had been made on the half — notably how Utah defended the pick-and-roll with Doncic — labored. Chopping the deficit to 4 late within the third, the Jazz used a 9-1 run to guide 89-86 on the finish of the quarter.

As anticipated, the fourth quarter was a slugfest because the groups exchanged leads 4 separate instances, together with 3 times they had been tied up. However due to the play of Mitchell and Gobert, it was Utah on each ends of the court docket that received out in the long run.

“Typically you get higher on the finish of the sport,” Snyder mentioned. “It is form of what we had been saying about studying from every recreation. … We talked about it yesterday. Simply basically, I assumed we had been actually targeted tonight.”

Regardless of an off night time capturing the ball from past the arc, Bojan Bogdanovic completed with 18 factors and hit the sport’s greatest shot when he knocked down a nook three-pointer 1:29 to play that put Utah up for good.

Mike Conley added 15 factors, six rebounds, 5 assists, and three steals, whereas Royce O’Neale completed with 9 factors, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and nice protection on Doncic. Clarkson added 13 factors off the bench.

Doncic completed with 23 factors, 11 assists, and 7 rebounds however shot simply 8-for-24 from the sector, 3-for-9 from three-point territory, and 4 turnovers.

Utah begins its five-game street journey on Sunday when it faces Phoenix and its finest report within the NBA. Tipoff is about for 1:30 p.m. MST on ABC.