NBA Regular Season 2012-2013, Game 33:
Minnesota Timberwolves 84 at Utah Jazz 106
Welcome back Comrade Kirilenko!
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Nothing cures the blues quite like winning again. And yes, tonight, our first big blowout since (it seems) the first game of the season was a display of our team play some sweet, sweet music. Bereft of team leader Mo Williams everyone else had to pick it up. That's pretty much what happened for the first part. Six Jazz players scored in double digits, with two more netting 8 points. Our starters averaged 2.6 assists each, and Earl Watson led the team with 9 off the bench. Rebounds? Eight Jazz players had at least 4 rebounds each, and Paul Millsap had zero. (WOW!) So everyone was playing together, playing focused, and kicked some butt.
Losing three games in a row (two at home) motivates a team in a way coaches cannot.
The Wolves aren't a bad team, they just shot like one tonight. Part of it was the defense by the Jazz, but another part was their uncharacteristically poor shooting tonight. They only managed 34.5 fg% and 11.8 3pt% -- for the season they're at 43.4 fg% and 29.8 3pt% before this game started. Sure, they're not offensive juggernauts, but they're usually not going to shoot 2/17 from outside on any given night. As a result, we benefited from another team shooting poorly for once.
We really took advantage of having no Ricky Rubio, Brandon Roy, or Chase Budinger. (All three guys who can make outside shots) This is remarkable because not only did we win a game, or win a game against a Western foe -- we actually took advantage of them being more injured than us! PROGRESS! Kevin Love had a poor shooting night (4/14 fg) but still posted 13 and 10. Andrei Kirilenko, in his return, finished with 12 / 7 / 2 /2, with 4/7 shooting, and 4/4 from the FT line. Not too shabby for only 30 minutes. Rick Adelman pulled the plug early and we got extended garbage time. During that period we got a chance to see much more of our C4. That's always exciting for us fans -- because they frequently do some exciting things.
For the Jazz, during the blowout (and not the end) it was a true team effort all along. Gordon Hayward led the team with 17 and 3 off the bench. Big Al had 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks to go along with 2 assists and 1 steal. Randy Foye scored 4 points, dimed twice, and had 1 rebound in 21 minutes -- also against his old team. Not quite the revenge game like he usually has against the Clippers.