All’s well that ends well. The Utah Jazz started out on fire. At one point in the first quarter their offensive rating was a sizzling 214.3. Rudy Gobert was hitting 20 foot jump shots, Derrick Favors was making three pointers. We really had no idea what had gotten into this team.
Then a Mr. JJ Barea checked into the game, he looked like the Jazz-Killer he is, and the Jazz looked ready to lose to a one win team for the second time in a week. The Jazz trailed by six at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter made the Dallas Mavericks look like world champions when they jumped to a 14 point lead. Barea looked like an MVP with his 17 points off the bench.
Barea doesn’t normally look so good.
Adding salt to the wound, Barea's normal standard of play has garnered him the nickname "Barfea" on the Mavs game thread— moni (@monilogue) October 31, 2017
The Dallas Mavericks always play super hard against the Jazz. I never see them quit or take a play off. I don't know if they play that way against all other teams, but they seem to play that way every single time against the Jazz. Luckily, the Jazz made a run to end the second quarter. The Jazz trailed by 9 at the half.
The Jazz came out with a vengeance to start the second half. They started the 3rd quarter on a 25-4 run. Hood looked hot. Rubio was scorching, Rudy was Gobzilla and all was well. The Mavs made a run in the 4th to cut the lead to 5 but then Sefolosha played amazing defense on Dirk who was beginning to heat up. He played defense like we always dreamed a Jazz player would play defense against Dirk. Donovan Mitchell was nailing threes and before we knew it the Jazz were up 16 once more and the game was not in doubt again.
My favorite play of the game of all the plays was this:
How awesome is it to see tough defense, not backing down to a legend, rookie going after Dirk. Remember when Dirk bullied Derrick Favors and no one on the team stood up to him except Earl Watson. Remember when Hayward got a wet willy from the then Dallas Maverick, Delonte West. This team will not be bullied! I love it. Toughness from the top down.
Jazz beat the Mavericks 104-89. Jazz win their second in a row. All is well.
[Editor’s Note: Rudy Gobert flirted with a 5x5 finishing the game with 17 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 6 blocks. Andrei Kirilenko is smiling somewhere.]