The Utah Jazz welcomed Donovan Mitchell in his return to Salt Lake City Tuesday night — and then handed the Cleveland Cavaliers a 116-114 defeat, thanks to a huge clutch performance from Jordan Clarkson.
The Jazz shooting guard unloaded nine points with just two minutes remaining in regulation to erase Cleveland’s lead and put Utah in front for good. The last player to have such a performance under the same circumstances? That would be no other than the legendary Kobe Bryant, who pulled off that feat in his farewell game in 2016. Coincidentally, Kobe did that against the Jazz and with Clarkson then still a member of the Lakers (via OptaSTATS).
Jordan Clarkson of the @utahjazz is the first NBA player to score 9+ consecutive points in the last 2 minutes to turn a deficit into a lead (with nobody else on either team scoring in between) since Kobe Bryant did it in his 60-point game to cap off his career on April 13, 2016.
Clarkson finished the Cavs game with a team-high 32 points. Together with Lauri Markkanen, Clarkson softened the impact of Mitchell’s 46-point performance. Offense aside, Utah fed off its tremendous showing on the glass, with the Jazz grabbing 54 rebounds to just 37 by the Cavaliers. The win snapped the Jazz’s two-game losing streak and also gave Utah some momentum ahead of Friday’s meeting with the Orlando Magic.
So far this season, Jordan Clarkson is averaging 20.7 points on 45.1 percent shooting from the field and 35.9 percent from behind the arc for the Jazz, who improved to 21-23 after taking down the Cavs.