The Utah Jazz did something tonight that they’ve struggled with on-and-off for the past few years: they played down to their competition. The the ho-hum Utah Jazz (22-13) put away the hungry-ish Brooklyn Nets (8-25) by a score of 101-89 in the 4th quarter behind Gordon Hayward’s 30 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Trevor Booker had a decent revenge game for the Nets, with a line of 17/15/2.
Though they were somewhat lackluster, the Jazz also did something that they haven’t done consistently since the Deron Williams era: they put their opponent away in the fourth quarter and closed out the game, even though it was ugly for the first three. That’s what good teams do.
Stats of the Night
Utah: Joe Ingles +/-
I could put this below in the Picards, but it’s super interesting and I think it belongs here:
Joe Ingles was a +21 in a game that the Jazz were tied or trailed the majority of the night. #NBAVote— Kaleb Searle (@k_searle87) January 3, 2017
The NBA’s leader in 3P% finished with five points, **nine** rebounds, two assists and a steal, giving the Jazz some much-needed help off the bench. The man is going to get paid next season, and I hope it’s Utah who pays him.
Brooklyn: cold from three-point land, bad 4th quarter
The Nets scored their second-lowest number of points (89) on their second-lowest number of made three-pointers (6) of the season. Their lowest came back on Halloween against Chicago, in which they scored 88 points and made 5 threes.
There are many aspects of the Nets’ fourth quarter to look at, but here are a couple stinkers that cost them the game:
- FG%: The Nets, who shot 42.3% overall, mustered a paltry 35% in the 4th.
- Booker: Book scored 17 points, but didn’t manage a single one in the final period.
Utah: Power Forwards
We’ve picked on Shelvin Mack enough. Let’s talk about Boris Diaw, Trey Lyles and Derrick Favors for a hot second:
Jazz PF in a bad spot right now. Favors can't move, Diaw can't shoot, and Lyles can't defend.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) January 3, 2017
Yep. Combined, the three men at the four spot put up 12 points, 7 rebounds, 0 assists and 0 blocks. Rudy Gobert had 15/16/2/3 all by himself. That was good enough for a win against the Nyets, but not good enough to get one against just about any other team in the league.
Brooklyn: The Whole Team? Just kidding. Randy Foye
The former Jazzman, who I think still holds the team record for most threes in a quarter, had 0 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 2 steals in 11 minutes of work. Yawn.
Utah: Gordon Hayward
Hayward (30pts, 4 rebs, 3 ast) put the team on his back like a team leader should. He shot jump shots, he drove to the rack, played defense and was decent from downtown. Fantastic performance from OG.
Brooklyn: Trevor Booker
Lots of respect for Book tonight. Although he slowed down a bit (okay, a lot) in the second half, he finished with a line of points, rebounds and assists, and provided the spark that this young, rather untalented Nets team needed. He kind of dunked on Rudy, but not really because it was uncontested. He’s a good guy, and he plays his heart out even though his team is garbage. Brook Lopez arguably had a better, more consistent game, but he wasn’t any fun to watch compared to Trevor Booker. Sue me.
- The Jazz held their opponent to under 90 points for the third straight night
- Alec Burks (#GovernmentName) played for three minutes tonight and had a statistically insignificant line. Still, he played, which is awesome.
- The Nets put together a classy tribute to Joe Johnson and showed it on their jumbotron. I wish the Jazz would do that for Deron Williams, who does not deserve to be booed.
- Gordon Hayward appeared to favor his shooting hand at one point. He finished strong, so hopefully he’s okay. If he’s hurt, I’m sure “updates will be provided when appropriate” or whatever.
- If you’re on twitter, make sure to tweet, post, retweet and share anything with the like so:
Gordon and Rudy definitely deserve a spot. Don’t let them down. #TakeNote