I'm not going to lie, with Derrick Favors out for the Utah Jazz, and a big beefy lineup for the Washington Wizards, I didn't expect the team play as competitively as they did. But they did, and they lost another game -- but kept it under 10 (thanks to that late Enes Kanter / Kris Humphries scuffle which resulted in a tech on Hump, and another Alec Burks FTM). Utah had the lead at halftime mainly due to the Wizards having a taste of their own medicine -- turn overs.
The Jazz didn't give in but John Wall took control in the third quarter and caused everyone a lot of headaches; unless, of course, you had him on your fantasy team. John Kirilenko finished the game with 16 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 blocks. Seriously. Wall is the best player on this court (and again, played 2.6k minutes as a rookie) and this is his time to shine.
Trey Burke and Dante Exum had trouble with him and the ancient Andre Miller. I was surprised that Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks lost the scoring against Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal 35-37 -- but was very happy to see our younger bigs Enes Kanter (22) and Rudy Gobert (22) give the Wizards bigs too much trouble. Add in Trevor Booker in a revenge game and this was entertaining all the way through.
So game one of the road trip is a loss, against the 2nd best team in their conference. This Jazz team fought hard, and make Washington have to work for it. And again, this is a team that I can root for.
- Gordon Hayward: 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 8/9 FT
- Alec Burks: 19 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 3/4 from three, 6/8 FT
- Trey Burke: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 7/16 shooting
- Enes Kanter: 10 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, but only 5/14 shooting
- Rudy Gobert: 7 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, got 'road team'ed' on a few calls
- Trevor Booker: 8 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, endless hustle
Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Ian Clark, Rodney Hood, and Jeremy Evans also played. But well, yeah. It's a learning season for this team. Utah continues on with their road trip and will tip off against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday!