Game 63 vs. SAC: “It’s over! The agony is over!”
As has been the hallmark of the Post-
Sloan Deron Jazz, the effort, hustle, energy, and transition offense were there. The Jazz were always either up or within striking distance, but the same could be said for the Kings. Every time we got the lead, [our inability to defend (Kings 7-14) or make (Jazz 4-10)] 3-point shots did us in.
After a fast-paced and even first quarter, Paul Millsap had three blocks on three consecutive possessions to spur a 16-5 Jazz run. The Jazz took a double-digit lead late in the 2nd, but shot 6-18 in the 3rd and 6-16 in the 4th. Along the way, they lost Millsap to knee distress and Fes to back distress. As if that weren’t bad enough, Big Al and he-on-whom-all-hope-is-pinned, Derrick Favors, were both in foul trouble.
Marcus Thornton hit a 3 with 14 seconds left to tie the game, and Big Al missed a jumper on the other end with enough time (4 seconds) for the Kings to get another shot. Udrih missed the three, which sent the game into overtime. The Kings only managed 3 FGs in OT, while Raja,* who was on a halftime M&M high, hit two huge shots from downtown (one trey, one toe-on-the-line). Big Al, meanwhile, made up for that missed jumper at the end of regulation by sandwiching Raja’s two jumpers with two dunks and a layup. And with that, Ty Corbin got his first coaching win in Salt Lake City.
At the end of the day, no, it should not have been this close. The Jazz foot should have been on the Kings throat in the second half so that it didn’t come down to the last possession. Well, that’s not the kind of team we have
this season now in 2011. I don’t know if letting bottom dwellers hang around and/or losing games to them makes us one of them, and there were many asterisks beside this W. I’m just happy, though, that we no longer have a shot at setting a record for futility that has stood almost 20 years (last string of 8+ consecutive home losses: 1982).
*Boler feeding Raja M&Ms:
First half highlights here.
Random Stuff, etc.
** Francisco Elson had his best game of this calendar year. He got major minutes off the bench due to the Jazz’s big man shortage, collected 9 boards, and was drawing charges right and left. I thought he should have won “Sub of the Game,” even if his #NewEra untucked jersey was bugging the hell out of me.
** Speaking of Elson again, he really is the man of a million nicknames. Jerry called him “Fran”; Ty calls him “Frank”; Ronnie P calls him “Sensei”; Al Jefferson in the post-game kept calling him “my vet” (“My vet stepped up tonight”/ “[You gotta] be ready to play and that’s what my vet did tonight”).
** AK finished the game, but he is day-to-day with back issues along with Fes and Memo. SLC water appears to be in disagreement with Euro backs.