Game 30 @Peskies: 3rd winningest coach in NBA history on his 2,000th game
…but Love and Jazz (usually such a good combination) almost ruin the party.
Should I just skip the first half? Because it was just another night in Jazzland: ice-cold shooting, scoreless stretches, and the opponent with the easy double-digit lead.
The arena was pretty empty at tip-off, but–knowing the Jazz were in town and the Wolves were more than likely assured of a victory–filled out pretty nice by the 2nd quarter.
Al had a putrid first half. He couldn’t buy a bucket, was getting blocked, and turning the ball over. Remember Wesley’s first game in his hometown(ish) Milwaukee last year? It was like that. When the Jazz came out in the second half, it was clear that they were on a mission to get Al locked in. He scored 3 buckets in the first 3:30 of the half with two of the assists going to AK, who got Al the ball in good position to score, and the Jazz were suddenly within 4. Jeffersap (combined 20-33 on the night) scored the first 13 points in the half, but the Jazz were down 12 again going into the 4th.
AK reeled off six straight points in a 45-second span early in the final period to cut the Peskies’ lead to 7, and Al scored a bunch more points to keep the game close enough that the Jazz could claw its way into another comeback.
When all was said and done, Gordon Hayward might’ve been the difference tonight. He assisted 3 of the Jazz’s final six field goals, and scored the last one–a dagger dunk that brought all of the coaches to their feet–and completed the three-point play to put the Jazz up four with 13 seconds left.
I have to give a lot of credit to Jerry for playing and sticking with Hayward the entire fourth quarter. Whether it was because there was less pressure than starting or for whatever reason, Hayward wasn’t his usual hesitant, tentative self and was TOO BIG YO in crunch time.
** Al collected a career-high 7 blocks tonight, and on the other end of the floor, the Mississippi Hooker was finally falling and looking like a viable offensive option. I don’t know if the hand injury he sustained during the pre-season (that he said would never get a chance to heal because it’s where the ball hits his hand on every pass) is bothering him, but his pushy-hooky shot has been more “go away” than “go to” this season–until tonight.
** Let’s celebrate Kevin Love not setting any NBA records against us. Even so, he ended the night with 25 & 19, and more offensive boards (9) than total boards by any Jazzman except Sap.
** It was a loss for the world that there was no dance-off between Fes and the Koof at any point during the night.
** 3rd winningest coach in NBA history, on Jerry’s 2,000th game.
** Finally, I would like to thank Canis Hoopus for jinxing (themselves) the hell out of this game. In their game preview, they gave the edge to not only the Wolves coaching staff, but 4/5 Wolves starters (with only Jefferson winning the matchup) as well. They also predicted the game would be over by halftime.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night
** Booner: He looks a lot thicker and bigger than Millsap.
** Boler: Love! Penetration, penetration.
** Boler: Love will just pound at ya.