The past of the Utah Jazz was on the court in Gordon Hayward. The future of the Utah Jazz was on the court in Donovan Mitchell. But the best player on the court tonight was one Joseph Howarth Ingles. On the very first possession of Utah’s 123-115 win over the Boston Celtics, the Jazz put Hayward in the pick and roll and Ingles went right around him for the layup. It was a sign of what was to come.
Ingles awoke from a bit of a shooting slump, tying his career high with 27 points. He also dished a team-high 7 assists. His +/- of +23 was only topped by Rudy Gobert’s +26. In the first half he was 9-of-10 from the field and 4-of-5 from behind the arc. With the Jazz trailing by 2 with 2:12 remaining in the second quarter, Joe hit three straight 3-point shots as part of a run in which he scored 11 straight for Utah.
To end the run before halftime, Jae Crowder hit a 3-pointer, solidifying a 7-point lead at the break that the Jazz would never relinquish. It was almost a symbolic passing of the baton, because if Ingles was responsible for the lead, Crowder brought it home in the fourth quarter.
In reality, the game shouldn’t have even been as close as it was down the stretch. The third quarter was dominated for the majority by the Jazz as they built a 20-point lead. A lot of that lead came at the expense of you-know-who.
Jazz have repeatedly targeted Gordon Hayward on defense, forcing him to fight through screens. It’s worked.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) November 10, 2018
oh man, the Jazz are relentlessly going at Hayward...they aren't even trying to run an offense anymore...just get the switch and go to work— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) November 10, 2018
In the fourth, the Celtics whittled the Jazz lead down to 4 with 7:48 to play, but some timely 3-point shooting from Ricky Rubio and the aforementioned Crowder arrived, Donovan Mitchell sealed it at the free throw line and all’s well that ends well.
Oh, and for everyone who had dreamed of Donovan torching a certain former Jazz man 1-on-1, well, we got a little bit of that too.
The Utah crowd finally got their boo’s out, and it certainly feels like the Jazz completed the exorcism of a demon tonight. They’ve now won two straight. Next up is a chance for a little revenge on the Grizzlies, as the Jazz go into Memphis Monday night with their eyes on getting back over .500.