NBA Regular Season 2013-2014, Game 9:
New Orleans Pelicans 105 @ Utah Jazz 111
The Utah Jazz held it together and won a game, our first game of the season! While the Pelicans led after the first quarter by 7 points, and pushed the lead in the second quarter our team did not give up. The largest fact in my opinion was Tyrone Corbin going with an actual point guard, Diante Garrett the NBA-DL callup, for 22 minutes in his first game with the team. Furthermore, John Lucas III (who started this game) was benched at halftime and did not play at all in the second half.
And what a second half it was! The Jazz managed to win a third quarter, 28-22, and the Pelican lead was cut to just 5 points. Richard Jefferson and Marvin Williams were big in the third, as well as Enes Kanter who was getting rebounds all game long. In fact you could say Jefferson was the main man during our run with good defense, smart shooting, and effective passing. The Jazz could have cut the lead to 3 points, but Alec Burks missed a buzzer beating dunk.
The fourth quarter was exciting. The Jazz eventually tied the game and then the crowd got really loud -- all 74 of them. (I kid, I kid, reportedly 16.7 k where in the ESA) Both teams went shot for shot with the Pelicans getting key buckets from Anthony Davis (29 pt, 15 reb, 1 block), Jrue Holiday (19 pt, 6 ast), Tyreke Evans (19 pt, 4 ast), and Eric Gordon (16 pt, 4 ast, 5 stl) all throughout the game. Luckily for the Jazz, Jason Smith finally started to miss some shots (he had 10 points, I believe all of them in the first half). The Jazz responded with Richard Jefferson (22 pts, 4 ast), Gordon Hayward (27 pts, 10 ast, 5 reb, 2 stl, 1 blk), Marvin Williams (12 pts, 9 reb) and the combo platter inside of Derrick Favors (12, 12, 5, 2, 2) and Enes Kanter (21, 10, 3, 1).
Eventually the Jazz kept finding their stroke from deep (going 9/22, 40.9%), as Marvin and Richard kept making shots when we needed them to. Utah got some stops, and won the game 111-105. Diante Garrett in his first NBA game for the Jazz finished with 7 pts, 5 ast (4 tov tho), and played like a real point guard. He's our Pinocchio, a real boy, in this case. But a real point guard.
Here's our 4th Q shot chart:
And here was our season's shot shart before this game:
There's some difference here.
Three things that went well:
- We made three pointers, besides John Lucas III going 0-6, the Jazz as a team went 9 for 16, which is 56%. I love that we are getting it from more than one source. Diante even made a three in this game, his first shot of his Jazz career. Marvin, Gordon, and Richard took care of the heavy lifting from downtown though. I can't wait to see what Brandon Rush will bring.
- The Jazz got to the line a lot, 39 times at home, and made 71.8 ft%. IF the Jazz shot like they normally did they would have lost this game.
- Point guard play. Really. Wow. We needed it. Thank you Dennis Lindsey.
Three things that went poorly:
- We still have no ability to handle dribble penetration, but having our bigs not foul so much this game was a help. Maybe this is a product of who the refs are in this game, but I felt like Enes Kanter (especially early) did a good job of trying to clog the paint without fouling. Guys still scored like crazy though.
- We have no answer for Gordon, Holiday, and Evans still. They dominated us with their guard play, they got to the rim anytime they wanted. This is what I feared from this team. They almost got it done with only one guy on the bench playing well, in the 4th road game in 5 nights.
- The Jazz are still turn over machines, 21 isn't as bad as some of the other nights this season -- but 21 turn overs when you only have 23 assists isn't good.
Congrats again to the Jazz, and to the coaching staff to recognize that when an older player plays poorly, he does not have to play the entire game.