Jordan Clarkson has been an absolute godsend for the Utah Jazz this season. With Donovan Mitchell sidelined with injury, Clarkson has picked up the scoring slack in a big way as one of the NBA’s best sixth men.
He was especially on his game on Monday night against the Golden State Warriors. The Filipino-American guard even managed to outgun human supernova, NBA’s leading scorer in Stephen Curry. Clarkson finished the night with 41 big points, five more than Curry’s 36 for the Dubs. Though the Jazz lost, Clarkson still managed to make NBA history in the process.
The Jazz guard became the first ever to notch 40+ points with zero assists, while taking more than 15 attempts from downtown. But Kobe Bryant was definitely smiling when he saw the 4th quarter box score from Clarkson, which was an unintentional (or was it?) ode to the Mamba.
Jordan Clarkson tonight:
41 PTS0 AST16-33 FG5-16 3P
He is the first player in NBA history to score 40+ points, take 15+ threes while recording 0 assists off the bench. pic.twitter.com/fBqKuiYyQR
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 11, 2021
Talk about Mamba Mentality. The fact is that Clarkson had to do it for the Jazz, who dearly needed someone to go head-to-head with Steph, who was going to drop at least 30 no matter what. Normally, that would have been Donovan Mitchell. But Clarkson knows all too well from his time with the Lakers and Kobe Bryant, that when the team needs a bucket that you can get, don’t even hesitate.
The Jazz entered the fourth quarter down 14 points when Clarkson decided to step up in a big way. The former second round pick poetically dropped 24 points, with eight field goals made. If that wasn’t an ode to Kobe Bryant, I don’t know what is.
Although the Jazz lost in the end it was by no fault of Jordan Clarkson, who scored their last 11 points. He even made the go-ahead three with just over a minute remaining in the contest to put them up 116-114.
The final minute however belonged to Stephen Wardell Curry. He regained the Warriors the lead with 14 seconds to go and hit two clutch free throws with five seconds remaining. Clarkson missed the game-tying three to force OT, but he can definitely rest well knowing he channeled his inner Mamba in the clutch.