Game 46 vs. OKC: Salt Lake City is the City of Brotherly Love
Al Jefferson, pre-game: You gotta do whatever it takes to win. Whatever it takes to win games, to get to the Playoffs. It’s not about Al Jefferson. It’s not about Paul Millsap. It’s not about Devin. It’s about the Utah Jazz…if that cause my minutes to go [down], to let [the young] guys go out and play, whatever it takes to win. (3)
Paul Millsap, post-game: Our team is playing great. Our bench is playing great. It’s a team effort. It’s not just me. It’s not just Al, or Devin. It’s a team effort.
So-so first quarter…
Russell Westbook and Kevin Durant held scoreless in the second as the Jazz outscored the Thunder 28-19…
Devin Harris’ awesome Kyle Korver impression manifesting in the form of him scoring 13 straight points for the Jazz in the third (including three treys)…Thunder come roaring back…
Jamaal Tinsley is so boss…Paul Millsap with the dagger, and Al Jefferson with the icing on the cake.
You can get your recaps at any number of sites. SLC Dunk, for example. I want to spend more time today on why I love this team. So with that, I give you…
** Al Jefferson: [Did you watch the games while you were away?] Of course I watched. Of course. (3)
** Derrick Favors: [What did Al say to you when he returned?] He just said, good job, way to hold him down. Just keep it up. (3)
** Big Al: [If Ty] shorten my minutes to increase they [young guys] minutes for us to win, I’m sure I have no complaints. (3)
** Enes Kanter on Big Al: He’s teaching me lots of things. My footwork, post moves, and even after every practice he’s talking to me and telling me what to do or even in the game he’s telling me what to do and everything. (3)
** Big Al: It’s always a great thing for the young guys to get their hard work in in practice. They push me, we gon’ push them back. Me and Paul, we gon beat them up, and that just make them better. Make us better too, so it’s a win-win situation. (3)
** Josh Howard: The sky’s the limit for [the young guys]. With me being out, it opens up the doors for more opportunities for them. I hope they take it and run with it. (DN)
** Howard: Yeah, yeah, Imma be around the team. I’m not going to disappear like some…players in the league. I’ll be around. Won’t be going nowhere. (DN)
** Kanter on Jamaal Tinsley: He’s helping me a lot. On the court, off the court. Even on the bench I’m always trying to sit next to him in the game. He’s telling me what to do, what I’m doing wrong, what should I do. He’s helping me a lot. (3)
Seriously, I just want to climb up on a ladder and pat him on the head.
** Kanter on rookie hazing: Oh, it’s killing me. (3)
** Kanter on what he has to do: Serving drinks or food in the plane, just carry backpack, or just bring donuts everyday. Or they just kick the ball up there so I have to go get it. (3)
** Paul Millsap: First off, I want to thank God, give Him all the glory.
** Millsap: Al Jefferson, the last play, it was supposed to go to him and he turned it over to me. So that’s what type of teammates we have. That’s what type of team we have.
** Millsap: For Al to do that…he humbled himself at that play, for me. (2)
** Big Al: Coach ran a play for me at the end of the game, and I said, “No, give it to Paul.” He ran it for Paul, same play. Paul hit a big shot that put us up 6. That’s just what it takes to win.
[Why did you think Paul had a better chance of scoring?] Number one, I was scrubbin’ a little bit from the field. Paul wasn’t. I felt like Paul had a better advantage on Ibaka than I did on Perkins. For the last four games that we had won, Paul been the finisher. He been the one that been closing the games out. So, why stop now? I said, just go to him. And he didn’t let me down. (2)
** C.J. Miles: We’re all like big brothers, little brothers. Everybody jokes and messes with everybody, and we all love each other, which makes it even easier for us to play hard for each other because we all get along so well. (2)
** Big Al: [How much is the team like a family to you?] It’s not “like”; they are family, they your second family. We fight for each other, you know’m sayin, we go to war with each other. And at the end of the day I believe we would die for each other. This the only, the first team I ever been on, that we not divided…This group, we are as one. We click as one. We go out to eat, everybody go. That’s the good thing about this team. (2)
** Big Al on Josh Howard: It was a downer because ever since Josh got in the starting lineup, he been a great leader for us. He been playing well, both ends, and I know how bad Josh want it. I know how important this year was for him to come and show everybody he still got it. But good news is, we get to this Playoff, he’ll be back for us for the Playoffs. At least we can fight for him, and give him that opportunity to come help lead us. (3)
** Tinsley on his between-the-legs play making highlight reels: It’s nice, but the win is even better. (3)
Best of the Night Quotage
** Q: Do doubters fuel you?
Derrick Favors: Every day I wake up out of bed.
Q: You remember criticism.
DF: I remember every single one of them.
Q: What’s the number one criticism you remember out of that, that runs through your head, that drives you?
DF: “He’s not that good.” I can’t stand when people say that.
Q: (laughing) “He’s not that good?”
DF: They be like, “He’s not that good” or “He don’t work hard.” Pisses me off every time I hear that, man.
Q: So there’s nothing better for you than shutting those people up.
DF: Just make ’em shut up and, know’m sayin, make them regret they ever said that about me. (2)
Welcome back, Big Al. Speedy recovery, Josh, Earl, and Raja.
These are our guys, and anyone that celebrated Josh’s injury can kiss my ass.
Unintentional Dirty Quote Machines of the Night (UDQM)
** Tom Nissalke, pre-game: The fearlessness that he comes with… (H/T @Mac_Jazz)
** Steve Brown to Harpring, on Josh Howard’s microfracture: It’s only about the size of a pencil eraser…much smaller than the one you had, which is good ’cause you were an old guy too. Harpring: It all has to do with the size of it, and the location. I had one in a horrible location, obviously load-bearing. His is not load-bearing…being so small, pencil-sized eraser…My first one was over a quarter-size, my second one grew to even more of a quarter-size on the opposite side.
** Boler on a free throw: Favors misses the front end.
** Boler on Reggie Jackson: He gives relief to Westbrook in the back court. (H/T @Mac_Jazz)
** Boler: Hot dog! Hot dog night! Jazz Nation!
** Harpring on OKC: They’re gonna come at you hard in the third.
** Harpring to Boler: You shake yours, I scratch mine.
** Boler: CJ between the legs, pokes the defense.
** Boler (seconds later): Miles, between the legs to Big Al!
** Boler: He slides out in front of Collison, ten to shoot.
** Boler: We’ve seen a little nasty grow in Derrick Favors. Harpring: It’s coming.
** Boler: Favors will give Hayward a hand up.
** Spencer Ryan Hall (H/T @_alexisholt):