With the game tied up at 48 at the half, Phil Johnson stated that his half-time speech was simple,
"I asked them if they had heard about Mike Singletary's half-time antics. So I threatened to take it one step further and promised them the full monty if they didn't put away the Clippers in the second half."
The Jazz responded and held the Clippers to just 3-20 shooting in the third quarter and cruised to an easy 101-79 victory. The third quarter included a 15-0 run for the Jazz and a nearly seven minute period where the Clippers didn't score. The Jazz held the Clips to just 31 points in the second half. That was just the opposite of the first half where LA shot 70% from the field at one point being led by Cuttino Mobley. Mobley made his first seven shots before cooling off.
Utah had a franchise low of just 5 turnovers in the game (although this box score lists only 4). [UPDATE: Jody from DesNews.com emailed me, "If you look right under where it lists 4 TOs, there is a stand-alone stat that says: Team TO (pts off): 5 (5). The 4 TOs listed are for individual player turnovers; the fifth TO was a shot-clock violation that goes down as a team turnover." Thanks!] They only had one until late in the third. The third stringers were in danger of letting the record go when they came in to close out the blowout. But they managed to hang on to the ball long enough to beat the previous mark of 6. With the second to last Jazz possession, we got this exchange from Boler and Booner,
Boler: "If the Jazz can survive the next 32 seconds [without a turnover], new franchise record."
Booner: "Well, if they don't throw it away on this possession, new franchise record."
[After that possession and a Clips possession, the Jazz get the ball back for the last few seconds.]
Booner: "Looks like we're going to have a new franchise record."
Yes, it was as awkward to listen to as it was to read it. Sometimes I think that Boler and Booner's headsets aren't even tied together. I think Booner just waits until Boler's lips stop moving and then chimes in with a statement. By the way, I also think that it was a franchise record for the amount of times "franchise record" was used.
Boozer feasted on the Clippers again. He went for 25 & 10 on 12/18 shooting.
Brewer continues to play great while still getting only mid-20 minute playing time. He was 6/10 for 16 points and also added two steals.
Memo had 10 points but on only 3/11 shooting. I think his shooting percentage goes up when Williams gets back. He's had to create a lot of his own shots which isn't really his strength. I thought he also finally made a three-pointer, but the box scores showed that he was 0-3.
Millsap had his usual quiet 11 & 7 in his 26 minutes. CJ was disappointing again with only 2-7 from the field and 4 points.
Kirilenko filled out the stat sheet again with 11 points, 9 boards, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. AK is in his element and has that feeling that he's the leader of the second unit (which he is). That's all that he's needed to return to form. I think he's just wanted to feel needed. Glad to have the AK of old back.
The game thread had a bit of discusstion about Price/Knight. I think we're fine with either one starting and the other coming off the bench. They're both playing similar minutes. The one thing that I realized though is that having Price start is kind of against conventional Jazz SOP. I think Locke mentioned this, but whenever the Jazz have had an injury, they've tried to keep the rotations the same and just subsitute for the injured player. So instead of moving everyone one spot in the rotation, they plug someone in and keep everything else the same.
With the thinking, it should be Knight starting with Price coming off the bench still. But I think that because Knight was still learning the offense, Price got the start because of his time in the system. But Knight has shown in two games that he's more competent in the system than Hart ever was. So maybe Knight should be starting. I guess it won't matter in a couple games when Williams returns though.
Speaking of Willliams, it sounds like Wednesday against the TrailBlazers is his expected return date. He also stated while sitting with B&B that the ankle doesn't hurt him much any more, but that he's got a lot of blood still in his foot that is making things painful. I'm not sure what the fix is for that. But barring some setbacks, expect to see him Wednesday.
Up next are the Clippers again at LA. The next game might be a little closer as the Clips shouldn't be as worn out and aren't playing at 4500 feet. But there's no reason the Jazz shouldn't win this as well.
- Sloan was out with flu symptoms. Apparently the virus showed up at Sloan's house and convinced him he was a hard worker. Jerry decided that the virus was okay and let him in.
- Kosta Koufos, who's lept Fess on the depth chart, got his lunch handed to him by Kaman when attempting a little hook shot in the fourth.
- This little tidbit from the DesNews, "Jazz players and rapper Ludacris, a Grammy award-winning artist who created the community-friendly WeMix.com record label, will pick five finalists in December. Fans will then vote for the winner, whose musical masterpiece (or at least the one with the most votes) will debut publicly vs. the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 7."
So I guess this is to counter the Collin Raye version?
I can't remember if it was here or somewhere else, but someone mentioned how Brewer always starts out answers to questions with "Definitely." He drop about 3 or 4 of those here,