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Jazz’s Bojan Bogdanovic game-winner vs. Rockets the toughest in NBA 2019-20 season


Utah Jazz marksman Bojan Bogdanovic hit one of the most unlikely shots to put a fitting stamp in a see-saw high-octane tilt with the Houston Rockets. Bogdanovic, who was 1-of-6 from the floor prior to crunch time, was trusted with taking the last shot in a pressure situation, burying a 28-footer off a pinwheel screen despite being heavily contested by the duo of PJ Tucker and James Harden.

According to Second Spectrum data (h/T ESPN’s Tim MacMahon), Bogey’s shot only had a 12.6% probability of going in, much less than the buzzer-beater that gave the Jazz a win over the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this season. Bogdanovic’s shot was also the most improbable game-winner this season.

The Rockets contested this shot with a picture-perfect double-team, but not even that could stop Big Shot Boj from firing an all-netter and gutting Houston of any hope at the Toyota Center.

Perhaps what made this shot all the more special was the see-saw nature of it. After being tied at 100 with 5:27 left, the Jazz built a seven-point lead, one that Houston would mow down and eventually overtake with a Robert Covington three that put the Rockets up 110-109 with 28 seconds left.

A pair of Donovan Mitchell would turn the tide in Utah’s favor, before a Tucker corner three seemed to have decided the game, leaving only a 1.6-second sliver for the Jazz to make amends.

Bogdanovic’s shot was as improbable as they come, but Tucker had a gut feeling it would go down, even after being heavily contested.

“As soon as he shot it, I knew it was good,” said Tucker, who would have otherwise been the hero of this game, per MacMahon.

Bogey had been out of rhythm besides an earlier fourth-quarter three that gave him his first bucket of the game, yet the coaching staff would be remiss to leave out their best shooter out of the lineup in that situation. That didn’t make the shot any easier to take or make.

“He’s got big balls,” said teammate Rudy Gobert of Bogdanovic, who hit his second game-winner of the season. “That’s all I’ve got to say.”

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