The Utah Jazz (38-24) scored 38 points in the first quarter against the Brooklyn Nets (10-50), and never looked back as they cruised to a 112-97 victory. Brooklyn didn’t give up the ghost, all 13 players played for them and they never stopped hustling out there. They just weren’t good at making shots. And that’s an important part of the game. (Just look at some of our Jazz losses for evidence) On the other side of the court The Jazz starters shot 31-44 (0.705) from the field with George Hill leading the way with this tremendous shooting line: 10/12 FG, 3/3 3PT, 11/12 FT. His 34 points were just shy of his career high, and his 7 assists led both teams.
So Utah blows out this team after losing to the Thunder and Timberwolves in back to back games? What was the difference? A night of rest? The competition level? Pride being on the line? Whatever it was, the results were exactly what this team needed. As a group they shot great all game long, making over 50% of their shots, over 45% of their threes, and enough of their free throws to make it worth going to the line.
While Rodney Hood and Joe Johnson were kept out of this game for rest we did see some life out there from Dante Exum, Alec Burks, and Boris Diaw. Collectively they added 22 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 threes to the cause. That’s not a lot spread out through three players. But it’s a sign of life for sure.
Dante to Rudy is going to be fun watching, for hopefully, the next 16 years.
Wait, was that the Corner Pimp?
But bigger take-away is that Derrick Favors continues to look more and more like himself (19 points, 12 rebounds ,3 assists, 1 steal, 1 three pointer). If he continues to be someone who can score inside and out the Jazz are going to be even tougher to guard, and good enough to go ‘big’ full-time.
Also, Gordon Hayward continues to jam all over the other team.
The man won't stop dunking! pic.twitter.com/DO3mKsuAWC— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 4, 2017
All of the Jazz starters scored at least 11 points, and all of them finished with at least +20 in +/-. This was a nice ‘pick me up’, but there are tougher games still on the schedule.
On Sunday the Jazz will play on NBA TV against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento. The Kings no longer have DeMarcus Cousins, but are playing much freer basketball after their divorce. The next night, Monday, the Jazz will host the New Orleans Pelicans - who do have DeMarcus Cousins. This game is the second night of a back to back, the third game in four nights, and the fifth game in seven nights. So it’s not going to be easy by any means.
I’m glad the Jazz took care of business tonight, but they can’t let up at all in March.