Playoffs R1G4 vs. DEN: Home Court Advantage is Sweet
The Jazz deserve a lot of credit for recognizing the importance of this game and not collapsing when Denver got close at the end. After a mini-slow start, we kicked into a higher gear and managed to sustain that for quite a while. Boozer had some huge offensive rebounds+putbacks and Deron was doing what ninjas do, and the Jazz got the lead up to double digits twice in the second quarter. We weren’t playing super great, but we were outplaying the Nuggets. Ronnie Price came in for a relatively long spell, and he just amazed me by how hard he plays. Turnovers in particular were a problem, but the Nuggets were fortunately in just as fumbly a mood.
CJ hit three consecutive shots, including a trey, to start the third. In what could be considered typical CJ fashion, he followed those up with two heat checks (one off, one way off). CJ’s 7 points contributed to a 15-6 run, and a
three-point play AND-1!!!! by Boozer pushed the Jazz lead to 20 midway through the quarter.
After that, well, the game got a bit ugly. Boozer committed his second dumb And-1 foul (he just likes And-1s, regardless lol), Sap fouled out after playing just 21 minutes, and the referees got way, way too whistle-happy (38 total fouls in the second half, compared to 42 total in the SAS-DAL game. 38 +25 in the first half = 63 total fouls for the game). To make matters worse, Denver began hitting shots (53% in the second half and 5-9 from downtown, compared to the Jazz’s 1-8) and the Jazz’s lead went down, down, down, down, down. As a result, the entire fourth quarter had that uncomfortable feeling like someone was invading my personal space.
Thanks to some big-time buckets by Boozer (ooh alliteration), Deron’s aggressive play, and clutch CJ free throws at the end of the game (again), however, the Jazz held on for the win and went home with a 3-1 lead. How sweet it is.