The Utah Jazz (5-5) return to .500 after handing the Atlanta Hawks (8-4) their THIRD HOME LOSS of the season. Utah played pretty loose in the first quarter, and took a lead. However, the Hawks are masters of never giving up, and turned up the defensive pressure which turned up the pace. In transition they got back into it after Utah coughed it up 14 times in the first half. was taking it to , but he was saddled with early foul trouble. With him out of the game the refs decided to start giving nonsense fouls as well. As is the norm, did not actively help out, but the bench group of and kept the team close at half. After one they were up by three, after two they were down by five.
In the third quarter the Jazz responded -- no doubt Quin Snyder had some colorful things to say to them in the locker room. Derrick Favors was active, and Rudy Gobert made sure that the other team really didn't want to go inside. That's really fine with the Hawks, who took 22 three pointers in this game, and made 36.4% of them. Thankfully their starting bigs would only go 3/10 from outside. But is was Atlanta's three point shooting that really kept them in this game. Their offense managed 26 assists and all five starters scored between 11 and 28 points.
During the fourth quarter the Jazz re-took the lead on some excellent shots made by Derrick Favors. He was assisted by, both with assists and actual shot making. Hood made an excellent pass to Favors that would have been the dagger, but the Hawks don't quit.
Their defense is what I hope our defense can be . . . the Jazz ended up having to burn all of their remaining timeouts with 50 seconds on the clock. The four point game became a one point game afterhit a three in a two for one situation. The Jazz failed to score. The Hawks then failed to score. Game over. Jazz win. Defense wins.
And this team breaks their three game losing streak. (And yes, I know, Jazz could have been 3-1 on this trip.)
Quin Snyder went 11 deep in this game, withkeeping both and on the bench -- he did get another block. That's cool. But not as cool as:
- Derrick Favors, 23 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 11/20 shooting, especially when it mattered most from midrange
- Rudy Gobert, 11 points, 11 rebound, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 5/7 from the line, 3/4 from the floor
- Rodney Hood, 20 points, 4/9 from three, 3 assists, 1 steals
- Alec Burks, 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
- Trey Burke, 10 points, 5 assists, 1 steal
- Gordon Hayward, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals -- a nice made FG in the 4th quarter
- had 4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block
Really a tale of two halves . . . kinda . . .