I really don’t know what to say here beyond thank the Gods for a healthy George Hill, a persistent Gordon Hayward, and the overall epic-ness of Rudy Gobert. I can’t believe a finally healthy Utah Jazz (23-15) team would need a game-winning tip-in from Gobert to beat the increasingly pesky Minnesota Timberwolves (11-26). Yet here we are. The 94-92 victory wasn’t even on the table as the Jazz let a one point halftime deficit balloon into a 11 point lead for the Wolves going into the fourth, on their home court.
The unit of George Hill, Rodney Hood, Alec Burks (replaced by Joe Johnson), Trey Lyles (later on replaced by Boris Diaw), and Rudy Gobert led the charge and went on a 10-4 run that cut the lead to just 5 points with 6:39 remaining.
Minnesota would push back and extend the lead to 8 points, thanks to the barrage of Zach LaVine jumpers and Karl-Anthony Towns tantrums; but they really ran right into a motivated Jazz defense. Minnesota would score only 3 more points in the last 5:39 minutes of the game.
The closing #SQUAD of George Hill, Joe Ingles, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, and Rudy Gobert dug in deep and gutted out this victory. Favors in particular level’d up tonight on offense. He dunked the ball off of good ball rotation and unselfishness (assist to Ingles) with 3:10 to play, Jazz down by 7.
- Rudy Gobert blocked Andrew Wiggins (2:50),
- Wiggins got the offensive rebound, (2:49)
- and Zach LaVine missed a three (2:47),
- Karl-Anthony Towns got the offensive rebound (2:46),
- and Wiggins missed a three (2:28),
- Gorgui Dieng got the offensive rebound (2:27),
- and Zach took another three and got no rim, and it became a 24 second clock violation (2:23).
That sequence ate up a lot of clock. After a time out the Jazz worked for a Favors jumper (Hayward assist) at the 2:08 mark, Jazz now down by 5. Ricky Rubio turned the ball over on the next play. Utah would manufacture a three pointer in the corner for Favors (yes, that happened) (Hayward assist) at the 1:29 mark in the fourth, Jazz now down by just 2. The Jazz defense forced another Wiggins miss, which George Hill would turn into a drawn foul on Rubio — and tie the game up at 92-92 with two free throws. Only 52 seconds left in the game!
Wolves take a full timeout, and then the Jazz defense prevented them from in-bounding the ball. They had to burn another timeout, which turned into a Gorgui Dieng 19 foot jumper that would miss. Utah collects the rebound and doesn’t take a time out. They worked it around for a right hand side court advantage, and get the ball to a hot Favors in the paint for a shot that barely missed. But he drew in a lot of defense, allowing Gobert to save the day with a tip-in with 0:27 left on the game clock.
JAZZ LEAD by 94-92.
The defense did the rest, tied up KAT for a jump ball between him and Gobert with 0:19 to play. KAT won the jump, but hit it too far behind him, his guards couldn’t handle it and the ball rolled into the back court. Zach LaVine had to track it down, guarded by Joe Ingles. He went one-on-one, pulled up for a long two off the bounce, and missed. Hill secured the board, game over.
Jazz win. Somehow. After being down by 11 points going into the fourth, on the road. In game four of five on this East trip.
- PG: George Hill - 19 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 threes, 7/7 from the line, 1 steal
- SG: Rodney Hood - 3 points on 6 shots while getting eaten alive on the other end from LaVine who dropped 24 tonight
- SF: Gordon Hayward - 16 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 7/7 from the line
- PF: Derrick Favors - 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 blocks, 1 assist, 1 three
- C: Rudy Gobert - 12 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2⁄3 from line
- Trey Lyles - 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 threes, 1 assist, only 6 shots
- Joe Ingles - 9 points, 4 assists, 4 steals, 2 rebounds, 1 three
- Alec Burks - 4 points, 1 assist
- Joe Johnson - 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
- Shelvin Mack - 2 assists, 1 rebound, zero points off of three shots, -8 in +/-, worst on the team
The team finishes it off tomorrow against the Memphis Grizzlies. Second night of a back to back. Third game in four nights. Fifth game in seven. On NBA TV. Yeah. It’s going to be fun. With how Gobert and Favors took care of KAT (blocked him quite a bit, but got in foul trouble) it should be interesting to see what happens against Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph!