Mike Conley wasn’t thinking much about his team’s New Year’s Eve defeat. He wasn’t worried much about the struggles he had early last year, his first with the Utah Jazz.

Nah.

Let auld performance be forgot.

“It’s been a rough 2020 for all us. Everybody in the world. Including myself,” the veteran point guard said on the first day of this new year. “I think I’m getting back to myself really.”

Conley scored a game-high 33 points to go along with seven assists, two rebounds and a steal, as the Jazz notched their first home victory of the season Friday night, defeating the L.A. Clippers 106-100.

“It was a fun night and a night we definitely needed,” said Conley, who hit a career-high seven 3-pointers. “I’m just happy to see this progress. Last year was a tough year. Just went through a lot personally, on and off the court.”

The Jazz (3-2) went through a lot on Friday.

Utah jumped out to a big first half lead against, leading by as much as 20 in the content. But Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers kept things didn’t go away quietly. The Jazz had to stave off multiple rallies from their opponents from L.A. Leonard (20 points) and Paul Georges (25 points) led the Clippers at Vivint Arena. But the Jazz had answers for every Clipper punch. George made it a 95-94 game with 3:15 to play before Utah closed on an 11-5 run to seal the win.

“The biggest thing is we really committed,” Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. “When you do that, you find ways to make plays and win the game. Getting back on defense. Our guys really had a presence on the boards. We defended.”

Donovan Mitchell had 15 points and 5 assists. Rudy Gobert finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. And big man Derrick Favors added 14 points and 11 boards off the bench.

Friday’s Best

Highlights

Notable

The Utah Jazz are about to embark on the team’s longest road trip since the team’s arena was used as a venue during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Over the course of 11 days, the Jazz play their next seven games on the road.

It promises to be a challenging trip, with games against the new-look Brooklyn Nets and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks.

“There’s always a balance between establishing yourself and your identity and your habits with what you need to do to win the game,” Snyder said of his team’s mindset heading into the trip. “It’s a good opportunity to stretch ourselves and try to continue to improve. Overriding all of that, you want to do what you can to win.”

Up Next

The Jazz kick off their seven-game road trip with a meeting against Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs. Tipoff is set for Sunday at 5 p.m. MT.