Clarkson says Jazz 'staying even-keeled' amid slump

Published January 22, 2022, 5:20 PMJC Ansis

Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson said 'it's been a tough stretch' for the Utah Jazz, but he assured that the team remains unfazed.

The Utah Jazz bounced back from a tough loss to the Houston Rockets and defeated the Detroit Pistons on Saturday (PHT) to end a two-game homestand.

The Jazz were led by Rudy Gobert, who notched a huge double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds, to go along with four blocks. Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley chipped in 23 and 19 points, respectively, while Filipino-American Jordan Clarkson added 20 points off the pine.

Clarkson, who made 8-of-17 shots (including three 3s), said the team was able to get the win by getting it done on both ends of the floor.

"Just playing Utah Jazz basketball—moving the ball, getting into the paint, finding each other, knocking down open shots. The biggest thing for us tonight was defense - we locked in and got stops, and we did what we did offensively," Clarkson said during the walk-off interview.

It was a much-needed victory for Clarkson and company after falling to the Rockets on a day the Jazz celebrated Filipino Night. Heading into the Pistons game, the Jazz had lost six of their last seven outings.

"It's been a tough stretch. We had COVID stuff (to deal with), guys (have) been out. It's been a tough week but you expect that in an 82-game season—the ups and downs. We're hearing from everybody. We're celebrating this win because people give us sh-- for losing to teams like the Rockets. But every win, it means something in the league," said Clarkson.

"But for us, we're staying even-keeled, that's how we gotta approach it. We know that we're growing. We can't be on a rollercoaster. We gotta stay even-keeled and know that the main goal and main focus is to get into the playoffs and win a championship here."

The Jazz (30-16), who missed the services of Donovan Mitchell in the last two games, are currently third in the Western Conference, behind the Golden State Warriors (33-13) and Memphis Grizzlies (32-16). The Phoenix Suns remain at the top with a 35-9 record.