The Utah Jazz just lost a thrilling game to the San Antonio Spurs, 109-105. What a crazy game! For the most part the Jazz hung tough, losing the first quarter by only 3, and the second quarter by only 2. But the Spurs had absolute control of things after a decisive third quarter where they won 31-24, and increased their lead going into the fourth quarter to an impressive +12 points. That's usually enough to sink a bad team playing without their top player (Gordon Hayward sat out yet another game due to his hip flexor). Then something magical happened:
Jazz win the 4th 38-26 against the Spurs in SA. Which is like riding your bike to the moon— Jeff C (@carty64) January 16, 2014
Yep. Our young guys played with fire and fight, I guess they're too non-Vet to know not to just lose to the teams that are out of their league. Down the stretch the four healthy F5 players were making plays despite curiously long stretches on the bench (Tyrone Corbin rotations = worst Price is Right showcase showdown game).
San Antonio is a superior team, but we almost had them.Tony Parker had 25 and 9, Manu Ginobili (starting) had 13 / 3 / 3 / 1 / 1, and this Tim Duncan guy finished with 15, 8, 4, and 3, while shooting a Rudy Gobert -like 70.0 fg%. On our side we got a huge game from a number of our players.
- Enes Kanter, baby. 25 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, 12/15 shooting, and was a +18 in +/- -- all in 27 minutes on the floor. This is the type of line we've been waiting for the Turkish Delight all season long. This is a Malone-like line (but he would have had 5 assists too). This is what he's capable of when playing with a good point guard.
- Trey Burke and Alec Burks are a solid back court by the box score. Trey went for 17, 11, and 3, with two big threes and clutch play. Alec had 20, 5, and 4, while getting to the line 6 times and shooting nearly 50 fg%.
- Derrick Favors had a 19 and 12 line against one of the best bigs in the history of the game. His defense was a sight for sore eyes at times.
- A four point loss looks slightly worse when you realize that the Jazz shot 68.4 ft% for the game. Yes, they went to the line more than the Spurs did (19 to 18), and yes, they only left 6 points at the line in misses . . . but if the Jazz made 2 more (improving to 15/19 instead of 13/19) then this is a different game. Of course, if the Jazz made 4 more then this is truly a much more interesting game regardless of the outcome.
- The Spurs shot 53.8 fg%. They have one of the best offenses in the game today, and are well coached, and have good players, and role players who execute well. They only had 3 offensive rebounds and beat us going to the line only 18 times at home because they work for good shots, and make them. Our defense was lit up by a veteran team toying with us at times. I guess this is what our Stockton and Malone Jazz teams used to do too.
- No Danny Green. No Tiago Splitter. And someone from the bench (Marco Belinelli) steps up and has a 15 / 7 / 1 /1 game against us.
It's a positive game despite the loss because it was our younger players who got us close to the win. It is almost as if playing them allows them to produce better results. Funny. It's not like this blog ever had people introduce that theory before...