Okay, this game between the Utah Jazz (14-9) and the Phoenix Suns (6-15) wasn’t supposed to be close. Yes, on paper these two teams are in different classes, but in the game preview and thread we warned against this type of thinking. And yes, the Jazz raced off to a 23 point lead, but Earl Watson’s club didn’t give up. They lost their last game by about 30, and where not going to be kicked in the teeth again. Phoenix clawed their way back, thanks to back-to-back 30 point quarter after halftime, and tied the game 103 all late in the fourth quarter.
Of course, it was a near brilliant game at times for Quin Snyder and company at home, but what really matters is how this team finished the game. With the game tied 103-103 with 3:06 remaining we had two teams not playing their sharpest ball. But sometimes it’s the cuts with a dull blade that hurt the most.
- Joe Johnson stole the ball after about a minute of both teams bricking things and Gordon scored, putting Utah up by 2.
- Phoenix didn’t answer back, and Rudy Gobert swallowed up the rebound.
- On offense Shelvin Mack sank a floater to put the Jazz up by 4 with 90 seconds left.
- After both teams missed shots, Rudy got another rebound and was immediately fouled by Tyson Chandler.
- Gobert sank both free throws, and secured a 20/10 game — the third of his career. Jazz up 109-103 now.
- Brandon Knight made a layup with 0:37 seconds left in the game, but ...
- ...Gobert finished it off by offensive rebounding the Shelvin Mack air-ball, and slamming it home, a two handed reverse, to finish the game off with a new career high.
Of course, the box score calls this a Shelvin assist, but it seems to be more of the Kobe Bryant variety. The fact that Shelvin made this same shot from the same spot (a floater off the bounce) just a minute ago leads me to believe he was trying to do it again.
The 23 point lead was nice, but the Jazz were not able to hold onto it. Rodney Hood got injured in this game and did not return. Gordon got his finger hurt again, and was sitting to start the fourth. But the lead went from 20 to 15, and then 15 to 10, and then 10 to zero. He had to finish this game instead of rest this thing:
Gordon Hayward's injured left ring finger is swollen and looks painful. pic.twitter.com/DR6BgeQ13S— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) December 7, 2016
All in all, a back-to-back win on the second night, a win in their third game in four, three wins in a row, and 7 of their last 8 is great. Unfortunately, the team was incapable of making any ground in the Western Conference.
West conf last 10 games:— Amar (@AllThatAmar) December 7, 2016
Man, that’s rough!
Quickly, Hayward finished with 28 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and shot 50% from the field. Rudy Gobert had 22 and 11, with 4 blocks, while going 10/11 from the free throw line. Boris Diaw was excellent, finishing with 13 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and made a three. Joe Johnson had 13 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, and 3 threes. Shelvin Mack had 12 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 threes. Dante Exum started well, had foul trouble again, and finished with 7 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 1 three. Rodney Hood would only play 12 minutes, but had 8 points, and 2 assists during his time on the court — where he was a +16 in +/-. In 12 minutes. Man.
"I feel the need . . . the need for a playoff seed!" https://t.co/B9xWfrgT9J— SLC Dunk (@slcdunk) December 7, 2016
Anyway, Utah will get a night off, and then host the Golden State Warriors for Game 2 of their 5 game home stand!