Utah Jazz

Bojan Bogdanovic has career-best 48 points as Utah Jazz strengthen grip on No. 1 seed in the West

Showered with water from his teammates prior to his postgame interview, Bojan Bogdanovic heard loud chants of "BOGEY, BOGEY, BOGEY" from the Utah Jazz fans in the stands.

The water was entirely neccessary, with Bogdanovic needing something to cool him down after his incredible 48-point performance on 16-for-23 shooting from the field and 8-for-11 from beyond the arc.

"Unbelievable. Thank you guys for making this night special for this team and for me," Bogdanovic said. "Most important is this win, we remain were we belong and that's at the top of the West right now."

The 127-120 win was indeed critical for Utah, who came into the night with a 1.0 game lead on the Phoenix Suns for the No. 1 seed in the conference and the overall best record in the NBA. Of course, the NBA Finals are a long way away, but ensuring home court for every series would be a huge boost for a team that is now an impressive 30-4 on their home floor. On the road, the Jazz are just 19-14.

The 48 points is a career-high for the 32-year-old, eclipsing his previous high mark of 44 points back in 2016 as a member of the Brooklyn Nets.

"I've got a great group of guys around me and the coaching staff that are pushing me to play better and better," Bogdanovic said. "I struggled at the beginning of the year but I think no one cares because like I said right now we are the best team in the league. I was just trying to be myself and be aggressive."

Scorching hot Bogdanovic in May

PPG FG% 3P%
Season Averages 16.3 43.4 38.6
Averages in May (four games) 32.7 64.0 57.5

Bogdanovic has at times struggled to find his efficiency throughout the 2020-21 season, but appears to be finding his groove at the right time with the blistering numbers in the table above, surfacing with just five more games to play until the postseason tips off.

As is the difficult nature of the Western Conference, the Jazz could be handed for a brutal first-round matchup, with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors all hovering around the range where they could finish in the No. 8 seed depending on Play-In Tournament results.

The Bogdanovic barrage contributed to the latest shooting clinic from the Jazz, with the team finishing 21-for-46 overall. It was the 17th team the Jazz have knocked down 20 or more triples in a game this season, with the team holding a 14-3 record in those games.

The Jazz are third in the league for 3-point shooting percentage at 39.1, though, they make more per game than any other team, averaging 16.9 long-range makes per game. The eight 3-point makes tied a career-high for Bogdanovic, and it was the 12th time this season he has connected on at least five.

As is the nature of the current NBA schedule, the Jazz won't have long to celebrate with Houston on tap tomorrow. They will then meet Golden Stae, Portland, Oklahoma City and Sacramento to round out the regular season.

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