SALT LAKE CITY – In reality, the game did not matter. The jazz was seen in the start number 5 of the regular season in Los Angeles against the Clippers. And her injury report reflects that.
Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert? They sat outside.
Derrick Favors and Ricky Rubio? Yes, she too.
Raul Neto and Kyle Korver? They were not going to return here either.
But do not tell Grayson Allen or Tony Bradley or Naz Mitrou-Long or Ekpe Udoh or Georges Niang that it does not matter. This was an ESPN game on the NBA's regular NBA last night. Dang right now, that was important to them.
And especially for all.
After throwing the season back and forth between jazz and G-League, Allen has been turning heads for the past few weeks. At the end of the regular season he made a final statement.
He scored 40 points on Wednesday and helped lead a 1
Utah ends the season with a 50-32 record.
Jazz will be number 5 in the playoffs starting this weekend, where they will play the Houston Rockets in the first round.
With the number of players sitting outside, jazz needed someone to score. And Allen was glad to take that responsibility.
Allen was the 11th out of 30 to reach his new career high – the third time he had reached a career high in the last two weeks. And he became just the second jazz rookie ever to reach the 40-point mark. Mitchell scored 41 points last season.
"He did a great job to get downhill," Georges Niang told Allen. "This kid works his cock off."
Allen had the opportunity to really mark his regular season at the end of the regulation with an exclamation mark. When the time came, he had the ball and was ready to move. But when he started driving, Allen abused the ball, forcing jazz coach Quin Snyder to call for a break. The Jazz got no points from the possession, which led to the overtime.
"It was a great opportunity to have fun and play out there," Allen said.
Allen was not the only Jazzman
Bradley had 15 points and 10 rebounds for jazz and Niang added 24 points for jazz. Bradley, in really his first meaningful minutes of the season, was getting more and more comfortable as the game ended with a double double.
As far as Allen is concerned, his meaningful protocol may not end.
He is confident that he has made a good impression in recent weeks, perhaps to be considered for the season, when the games really gain in importance: Sunday, when jazz and the Rockets open their series.
"It's up to the coach, but I'll be ready," Allen said.