Game 32 @LAC: Too big yo
Happy Gordon Hayward, skipping off the court.
It says a lot about the Jazz season so far that I felt an impending sense of doom going into tonight’s game. It’s like, we should be running over our opponents, but every game has become a trap game. With AK and CJ out, the situation was only gloomier and doomier. At the end of the night, the win against the Clippers–the 10-23 Clippers!!–feels like such a huge win. Being a Jazz fan right now is all sorts of weirdsies.
I’ll let Booner sum up the first quarter:
Millsap was in foul trouble within the first 90 seconds; Evans subbed in and scored off an alley-oop right off the bat; Fes got first quarter minutes; Memo hit his second three of the season. While this was happening on our end, the Clippers were having their way with us on theirs, and the Jazz were giving the sold-out crowd something to cheer about. Eight minutes in, the double-digit lead by the opponent was achieved. Griffin scored 10 and Jordan 7 in the quarter, and that was before Aminu checked in and immediately entered Jazz Killer mode…again.
During his minutes on the court spanning the first and second quarters, Memo looked great. His shot was on, and he scored 11 points in 9 minutes. Fes got some good minutes during that span as well, and you really can’t argue with the way he takes up space. He scored on 3 layups in 7 minutes, and had just a gorgeous-yet-filthy block on Griffin in the 2nd:
Hayward played the entire first quarter and the last 8 minutes of the second quarter. He didn’t have much going on on the offensive end, but he was active and hustling.
It was all just a ruse to lull the Clippers into a false sense of security, however. The third quarter was Gordon’s Quarter. Hayward not only connected on two 3s and scored 10 points in the quarter, but he was also drawing fouls. Meanwhile, the Clips managed just 13 points in the quarter on 3 FGs. Yeah, three. Did I mention all three came within a 66-second span? Yikes.
If I’m not mistaken, Hayward played the entire second half (can you believe it? Jerry Sloan played the rookie for an entire half. Has this ever happened before? Has any player under Jerry’s tenure ever played an entire half?) and ended the night with 17-6-3 in 44 minutes. As Guybrush pointed out in the SLC Dunk game thread, Gordon must love playing at the Staples Center.
Final shout-out of the night goes to Big Al. For the second time this season, the Mississippi Hooker looked like a real, viable offensive option. Al tallied 31, 10, and 3 blocks, which is a big deal because he only had one 30+ game last season, and this was only his second 30+ game since undergoing knee surgery two seasons ago.
Random Notes, etc.:
** I just really have to post these:
** Good job, Harpring family!
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night
** Matty on Eric Gordon: He can really fill it up when he gets going.
** Matty on an Al replay: The pump fake, and then going into him.
** Boler: Millsap gets a much-needed hand to help him up.
** Boler the Sex Ed. Teacher: There are other things you can do besides put the ball in the hole.