When a half-court shot falls with relative ease, it may not be your night.
This one was over before that half-time buzzer-beater though. Another poor first quarter by the Jazz put them in a 13-point hole after 1. Millsap was out with a bruised hip which doesn't help but the way the Hawks were working the ball of offense, he would have had to have put up a Malone on Bucks-type performance. His absence also caused even more match-up problems than normal.
The Hawks came in after a late game against the Kings last night and outplayed, out-hustled, and and out-shot the Jazz in every facet of the game. I think the ESPN box score might be broken though because it shows that the Hawks only made 50% of their shots and 56% of their threes.
Tonight's Jazz assassins were Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford. Locke got the jinxing done early by tweeting Johnson's poor numbers this season. He had 28 points on 10-17 shooting including 5 three-pointers.
Crawford lit up the ESA. His half-court shot accounted for just 1 of his 4 three-pointers but looking back on how he was shooting them, it doesn't seem like such an impossible shot now. He finished with 26 points, 6 boards, and 4 assists. That's why he's the reigning 6th-man of the year.
It didn't help matters that most of their shots were uncontested looks. The Jazz didn't get around on switches and rotations. They tried going to a zone for a bit but a couple of made threes put them back into man-to-man.
The Jazz had the lead down to 10 a couple of times and made a couple of good pushes in the third. But they either turned the ball over or gave up another easy bucket to kill any momentum. The Jazz didn't have the offense (39% form the floor) nor the defense to get another comeback win.
The only highlights for the Jazz tonight were AK's 19 & 6 and a swat into the second row and Hayward's chase-down block of Crawford. Oh, and Fess was 3-4 from the line if you're into that. There was also this.
So now the Jazz head out to the road where they have two less losses than they do at home. Those are going to be tough games against Memphis and Houston. The Grizzlies will have Gay back. And if Millsap isn't back, Zach Randolph could go for 40 & 30. Kevin Martin just put up 45 points against Portland on 18 shots. The Jazz have been good on the road this year but those two games could be disasters.
Hit the jump for the last three game thread stats
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