Game 62: Dallas Mavericks 121 @ Utah Jazz 123
Told you 5 game win streak starts tonight!
Jazz needed to win this game, and they held on strong after all the threes Dallas took, and held on to win this game. Al Jefferson finished with 28 points (off of 25 shots), and had 26 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 1 steal and assist. In a triple over time game he got to the line zero times. Was this a product of the refs, or a product of his game, or both? I don't know. But he was huge down the stretch for making big plays. Also making big plays was Devin Harris, who finished with 23 points, 7 assists, 5 made threes, and 5 free throw attempts. He got to the line but kept missing. And he took a lot of threes tonight. Both guys had flaws to their games, but you can only say that we win this game because of their play.
I said the Jazz needed them to carry the team in the next 5 games. They've done so one game in. Gordon Hayward was his usual "American Kirilenko in Utah" self, he finished with 24 points (off of 14 shots), he got to the line 10 times, making 8, and he went 4/6 downtown. He also had 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and a steal and a block. Paul Millsap was super clutch as well, but did not have the best game of his career. He finished with 16 points (off of 18 shots), 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and a steal and a block. Rounding out the starting five was DeMarre Carroll who played GREAT. He had 15 points (10 shots), made all his free throws, had 6 assists, 4 rebounds (two huge ones on offense), and 1 steal.
Dirk Nowitzki had 40 points, went to the line 12 times, and added 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Delonte West was a few chemicals short of having enough chemicals to be classified as having a chemical imbalance. Shawn Marion only had 4 points. That, in itself, is a victory.
What is a bigger victory is:
- beating a Western Conf. playoff team when you are currently a lotto team
- not getting swept by a good team
- winning a close game in front of your home crowd
- winning an OT game
- winning a 3 OT game
- beating the Defending NBA Champs
- and winning while you are down like 5 players
- and winning a must win game while your #PlayoffPush is in effect.
Superb win. The Jazz aren't totally masters of their fate because they need other teams to lose games still, but they are on pace to finish this season strong. If this Jazz team goes down, they will go down fighting. And that's all we can ask for out of them during this turbulent season.
Also Karl Malone would have beaten guys up tonight and got the W in the 4th quarter. But he's not on the team anymore. We could use more toughness.