The Utah Jazz once again defeated the evil, nasty, flopping, ref adored San Antonio Spurs for the second time this season, and won the season series. This time the Spurs and their faithful can't chalk this loss up to injuries, as it was Utah being at the disadvantage here without Alec Burks, and every Spurs playing in prime condition. Yet the failed, and fell, and flopped, and ended up losing every quarter to the young, virile, and Godly Utah Jazz.
Utah opened up the first quarter with tenacious defense resulting in hustle plays and transition buckets. Rudy Gobert appeared at times to be defending three Spurs players at once, his tall tales and legendary status growing with each game. Tim Duncan, the at best 6th best center in NBA history, didn't want any of what Gobert was putting out there -- and neither did his team. The Spurs didn't challenge Rudy at the rim until the 3rd quarter, and it failed stupendously.
Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors did their thing, while Australians Joe Ingles and Dante Exum were playing very solid on defense and making great passes, and hitting jumpers on offense. Off the bench Trey Burke ignited the "Championship defense" of the Spurs for 23 points, making all the hard layups, and missing all the easy ones. But you can't have everything, I suppose.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was not happy, as his squad lost their 3rd straight game, and only because of beneficial calls by the refs, managed to score 81 points -- tying their worst performances this season.
Both teams shot poorly (41.0 FG% for the Jazz, 40.5 FG% for the Spurs; 26.7 3pt% for Utah, and 26.3 3PT% for San Antone). Both teams didn't get to the line much, 23 for the home Jazz, and 21 for the road Spurs. Both teams turned the ball over quite a bit, 13 for Utah, and 22 for San Antonio. And both teams hit the glass pretty well, 11 offensive rebounds and 49 rebounds on the whole for the Jazz; 12 offensive rebounds and 44 rebounds for the night for the Spurs. Effectively these two teams played a very even game by the numbers. It's just that the Jazz were keeping the Spurs out of reach.
The first quarter proved to be the definitive one where a motivated and energized Jazz pushed the Spurs back. While both teams would go on runs, neither would capitalize to decide the game early. Utah was just better tonight. They had to be, because Boris Diaw was their best player.
National media types will call this a bad night for the Spurs, one where they didn't shoot well. Of course their performance exists in a vacuum, and the Jazz' youth, energy, hustle, and defense had no influence upon the final score at all. Right?
- Gordon Hayward finished with 18 points (10/11 from the line), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and didn't have to do everything for once.
- Derrick Favors added another double double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, and 1 block.
- Rudy Gobert's contributions cannot be quantified, but on the boxscore he had 7 points, 14 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, and 3 blocks
- Dante Exum and Joe Ingles combined for 15 points (3 threes), 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and were playing great defense all night long
- Trey Burke had 23 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and seems to be much more deadly off the pick and roll now in this new, Jamal Crawford type of role
- Trevor Booker had 7 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, and his energy was infectious
- Elijah Millsap was one of many Jazz players not to shoot well, but his all-around game allowed him to play for nearly 30 minutes, 4 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and very right defense most of the night
The old men now know to fear the Jazz. We takin' over.
For all my fellow Utah Jazz fans out there who are falling in love… https://t.co/TDGE2S7Gh4— Mat (@Texas) February 24, 2015
Enjoy the music, Jazz fans. Our team is doing it.