Game 78 vs. OKC: Doncha wish your point guard was NINJA like mine…
First of all, Kevin Durant is unbelievable. He’s unreal. He’s the beastliest beast in the league, and unlike LBJ and Kobe, he’s likeable and has a normal-sized head.
Second of all, this was a great, epic game. This was real basketball, which unfortunately is few and far between in today’s NBA. The basketball gods are definitely smiling today.
Third, Deron (career-high 42 points) was pure NINJA. We all know that he hates to lose, but you can’t say “he came out to win” every night. Today, you can. I can’t exactly explain it, but you could see it in his eyes. He had *that look* in his eyes; he came out with aggression, looking to dominate and get the win. Which is exactly what he did.
The Jazz finally got off to a fast start. How long has it been since we’ve seen that? While they were scoring points, however, they never really got into a good flow in the first quarter. OKC, on the other hand, wasn’t scoring as many points, but everything looked ridiculously easy for them.
Towards the end of the first, Ronnie P. checked in…with cornrows.
In 19 first-half minutes, Boozer was completely invisible. And by “completely,” I mean “completely.” Looking at the halftime box score, I could not recall him doing a single thing. Fortunately, neither team outplayed the other in the second quarter, and we went into halftime with the Thundah up 2, 65-63.
Jazz fans just about committed seppuku midway through the 4th when Deron crumpled to the floor in agony, but fortunately he’d only gotten the wind knocked out of him and played on following the timeout.
The second half, and in particular the fourth quarter, was a nail-biting thing of beauty. Where do I even start? We had huge contributions and plays from all of our guys. Boozer and Millsap both brought it after halftime. Boozer had probably one of the biggest dunks of the season, while Millsap took the ball to the hoop and also had a huge block. CJ had two and-1s and a huge trey, and OMSW, oh my sweet, sweet Wesley, showed the world the ice water in his veins when he calmly sank two clutch FTs with 17 ticks left in regulation to put the Jazz up 3. All this time, Deron is whirling around being all NINJA and Kevin Durant is flat-out aweing with his scoring and, well, everything he’s doing.
Thanks to the Jazz’s [lack of] rebounding, the Thunder took 4 of the first 5 shots in OT; none of those five shots connected. Nevertheless, the Thunder drew first blood with a Harden FT. A Matthews three later, Harden put OKC up three with a trey of his own. CJ completed one of his aforementioned and-1s to tie the game, and Deron hit a three to get the Jazz the lead back. With five seconds left, OKC had a 1-point lead and the Jazz had the ball. The inbounds pass went to Boozer, who passed it to Deron…who launched a long jumper…that went down, down, down, down…
I seriously considered calling in sick, because there was nowhere I wanted to be and nothing I wanted to be doing more at that moment than sitting in my chair and revelling in this win. In the end, I had to settle for wearing a Deron shirt and Jazz cap to work. I frickin’ hate jersey poppers (no that is not what Ronnie P. is doing in the picture above), but man oh man, did I want to pop my shirt all the way to work… :-)