So what was the difference between last night's fourth quarter performance and the disaster at Denver? For starters, the backcourt in Denver to start the fourth was Eric Maynor and Ronnie Price. Last night feature Ronnie Price and Ronnie Brewer while Deron was on the bench.
So instead of of coming back in down 9, Deron got 4 minutes of rest and came back to a 93-85 lead. That lead came in no small part to Ronnie Brewer and Paul Millsap.
Denver got momentum to close out the third quarter when Deron fouled Billups on a last-second three point heave. This time around the Jazz were able gain the momentum when after a Ronnie Brewer shot, Millsap was able to get the rebound in the air and shoot all in one motion drawing the foul and getting the basket.
Millsap would start the fourth quarter scoring 12 of the team's first 14 points on layups and jumpers. He would go on to score 14 of his 23 in that quarter which led the Jazz over the Clippers. He also added 9 rebounds and two blocks on the night. Oh, and all of that came in 25 minutes.
Ronnie Brewer was a consistent force all night with even scoring throughout the game. He finished with 17 on 8/11 shooting. He didn't hit from the wing but did make some jumpers from near the top of the key,
The bad news about his good play is that if he's putting up these numbers all season, he could be priced out of Utah when he hits the free agent market next summer. If his jumper does start falling on a consistent basis, that's good news for this year and bad news for next.
Lot's of good play last night and I haven't even got to Deron yet.
I have to say I was wrong about the KOOF passing the Fess on the depth chart. The KOOF hasn't been playing poorly, but Fesenko has been killing it in the first two games of the season. He is still making a few mistakes like when he didn't switch to Boozer's man on an in-bounds play. Baron Davis was in-bounding the ball and it caused Deron to have to go cover Butler. That left the Beard alone under the hoop for an easy bucket.
If he had received more playing time the past couple of seasons, maybe he'd be a little further along in that area. But he's been huge on offense so far this season. He had 10 points alst night on 5/6 shooting and has 16 points on the season already. Doesn't seem like a lot until you consider that he had all of 14 points in his rookie season and 49 total last season. What it looks like is that he has started to learn how to use that big body of his when he's around the basket. He's 8/9 this season and per 36 minutes would put him at 19 points a game. His fouls per 36 are also way down. That pace can't be expected for the entire season but if he's contributing even 1/4 of that, I think we'll all take it.
AK had an off shooting night finishing just 1/7. I think AK is normally hot or cold when it comes to his offensive game. Seems like he's either 1 for something or he's shooting 75%. So you'll have to take those. While he was on the floor though, the Jazz were +15 and he tied for second on the team with 7 assists.
Speaking of 7 assists, Boozer had that along with 20 & 12. His jumper still isn't falling very well. He needed 22 shots to score those 20. But it was an improvement over Denver that's for sure.
The KOOF was effective on the glass while he was in. He had 8 last night and is now averaging
22 REBOUNDS A GAME!!!!!!*
Again, it looked like Deron was going to have to do all of the scoring for the team just to keep them in this one. He had 17 & 7 at the half. (votederon.com for the rest on Deron) Yet the Jazz were still tied at 60 as they couldn't stop anything.
But as the game wore on, the Jazz started clamping down on D. The Clippers had quarters of 32, 28, 24, and 14 points. In the fourth when the Jazz pulled away, LA went just 3/11 from the field. There seemed to be a lot more challenged shots and deflections.
The Clippers had just 38 points in the second half after scoring 60 in the first.
Let's hope the fourth quarter effort this time carries in to Monday.
Paul Millsap is unstoppable.
The real question is, why did no one pay this guy more than 4/$32M this summer? I mean, I'm being a little facetious, but against the Clippers over the past two seasons, he has been, without exaggeration, the best player on the court, by a pretty wide margin. He's been an all pro against the Clippers. His follow shot and-one with a second to go in the third was the turning point tonight. The Clippers' lead had been four - he cut it to one, and then made the first basket of the fourth quarter as the Jazz took the lead, never to trail again.
Living and Dying:
Quarter 1 to Quarter 3:
UTAH SUCKS!! UTAH SUCKS!!! And it freaking sucks to be me. What is this @#$%#$%#$^%?
Ah…sweet, sweet Sap.
"First of all, I thought Fes had a terrific game for us," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said to open his postgame remarks. "He has shown a lot of those things in the practice, but he got an opportunity to play and I thought he did a great job.
"He went a long ways [16 1-2 minutes] in that second half. They only scored 38 points in the second half and his presence had to have something to do with it."
Not a pretty win but I'll take it!!! Fes, Booz, Sap and Brew played great! Lookin forward to Halloween tomorrow everyone enjoy it!!!!!
- The fact that Ronnie Price's putback jam wasn't in the NBA's Top Ten goes to show that not even the league watches the Jazz.
- MoTab singing the national anthem last night.