Game 51: Utah Jazz 82 @ Boston Celtics 94
BIg Al Jefferson's 18 and 12 not enough to beat his old club . . . again
Did you know that Al Jefferson has never beaten the Boston Celtics before? I'm only mentioning this because so many people (including myself) have said it lately that you can tell this is the new buzz word thing to talk about. I'm sure Al has heard it a million times as well. Which on the personal level, sucks for Jefferson. Not including tonight's 18/12, with 3 blocks and 3 assists night . . . he AVERAGES 20.1 ppg, 8.5 rpg, and 1.8 apg against his old club. There's only one team in the entire NBA that he has better scoring averages against, the Phoenix Suns (by +0.5 ppg). [Point of reference, for his career Big Al is a 16.2 ppg dude]
Anyway, Jazz were up by one, then the Ghosts of Boston Garden got all influential, and before you knew it the Jazz were down. And down big. Our boys fought back, but missed free throws and missed opportunities only succeded in frustrating our players and fans -- and did not help the Jazz leave town with a win.
Paul Millsap did his thing, finishing with 16/7, with 2 assists and 1 block and steal each. He shot 60 fg%. Gordon Hayward showed up big time (he was almost too big, yo.). The Precious finished with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks on the same play. He shot 8/14 as well.
It wouldn't be insane to suggest that Devin Harris (5 pts, 7 assists, 4 turn overs) and C.J. Miles 3 points (1-10 shooting) kind of let us down. Harris has been instrumental in our wins by pushing the pace and being aggressive on offense. Tonight he shot the ball 6 times and did not go to the free throw line once. Miles, well, he had one of his inconsistent shooting games that we (including him) hate.
Off the bench Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, and Enes Kanter combined for some energy, but none of them made a huge splash individually. Favors had 6 points and 7 boards in 23 minutes. Burks had 9 points, 2 steals, 3 rebounds, and went to the line 7 times, in 19 minutes. Kanter missed all of his free throws (3), but made all of his shots (3), and finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds.
And, well, we lost. I can't wait to see how the rest of the week shakes up. We need some wins if we are serious about this playoff push thing.