Game 69 vs. MIN: Jazz do not, I repeat do not, lose to the Wolves!
** CJ connected on his first seven shots and scored 18 in the first quarter en route to a 25-point half and career-high 40-point night. He was 14-18 from the floor and 6-7 from downtown.
** After the last game, I was wondering when the Jazz would get their next solid win. Everything goes back to January 14th, because that was the last time we won more than two games in a row. Well, the Jazz got their second double-digit win for only the second time since 1/14, as well as their first 70-point half and second consecutive win since 1/14.
Remember that beautiful double-behind-the-back Watson-to-AK-to-Ronnie P bucket? That was 1/14. Remember that monstrous CJ dunk where he slammed it down, landed, and screamed like Boozer? That was also 1/14. Today was the best we’ve looked as a team since then.
** Given our recent history, you can’t blame me for not getting excited about having a 20-point lead at halftime. We did the last game, and it still went to OT. For a few minutes in the second half, it looked like we were headed down that same road…again. The Wolves had the lead down to 12 at the end of 3 and 10 to start the 4th. Fortunately, that was as close as they got.
** Super classy move by Raja at the end of the game:
** CJ was hitting from everywhere on the floor tonight, but my favorite play of the night was in the 4th when AK stole a jump ball and threw it to Raja for an uncontested dunk. As mattb_oliver pointed out to me, it was probably Raja releasing some frustration. I still loved seeing it, though. [I'll probably get into this sometime in the next few days, but all of the Raja bashing among Jazz fans is really bothering me. I'm really starting to believe that Jazz fans can't be happy unless they have someone to hate.]
** Big Al with another super solid night of 26/11/4 blocks. Best of all, he didn’t get punked by Darko. The other times we’ve played the Wolves this season, Al had sub-par nights and could only say, “I take my hat off to them.” Tonight, the Wolves had to take their hats off to Al.
** AK, looking all bad-ass with that red scratch and multi-hued bruising under his eye, scored 14 and tallied the second-most rebounds and assists on the team. It’ll get overlooked because it doesn’t show up in the box score, but he also had a great defensive night. Earl did a great job running the team in the 4th while Devin rested his hammy. Favors said in the post-game that he’s not over-thinking things anymore and is getting more comfortable, and it showed. While he does need to learn to stay out of foul trouble, part of that is him learning to stay out of foul trouble, and part of that is beyond his control (rookie calls).
** After the game, KOC announced that Memo is being shut down for the season. The good news was that the decision wasn’t made due to any setbacks or anything like that. Get well soon Memo!
** Video: CJ’s 40 points here.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night
** Big Al, pre-game: Darko always do a good job on me…And you got someone sitting in my lap ready to double-team. Just dig the ball out, so they did a good job. Did the last two times we played them. That’s what they did. Kinda got me out of my groove. Had me thinking too much and I rushed bad shots.
** Booner (in reference to the play pictured above): The offensive player just bends over at the waist and puts his backside into him.
** Booner on Favors: This kid has a great body!
** [Imagine Boler and Booner holding whips] Boler: Love at the line. Boy, he’s a horse. Booner [cracks whip]: He can take some punishment. Boler [cracks whip]: And he can also dish it out.