The Jazz rebounded from their tough loss to the Grizzlies by beating the Blazers up in Portland. What was especially impressive about that game was that the Jazz were without Trey Burke, Derrick Favors, and Gordon Hayward. The team found a way to fill the gaps without their stars. Trevor Booker had a career night, scoring 36 points on 12 of 15 shooting, including 4 of 4 from 3. A win in their final home game of the season would require another big effort from the role players, as the Jazz would once again be without their stars. The Mavericks were without Dirk Nowitzki, as the Mavericks get rested for the playoffs.
The first quarter was back and forth. Neither team created too much of an edge. At the end of one it was 29-26 with the Jazz leading. Utah shot 58% on 11/19 shooting. Dallas wasn’t far behind. They shot 55% on 11/20 shooting. Trevor Booker started strong, scoring 5 points on 2-2 shooting. Joe Ingles had 6 points and Rudy Gobert led the team with 7.
The second quarter started with Bryce Cotton showcasing his athletic ability with a huge dunk that cleared the Jazz bench. A few possessions later he crossed up J.J. Barea and drew a foul. The Jazz started pulling away from Dallas, building a 9-point lead with just under ten minutes to play. Dallas hung around by continuing to shoot well. With just under 3 minutes left in the first half Dallas was shooting 56% on 20/36 shooting. The score was 53-50 for the Jazz at that point. Dante Exum also returned to the game in the second quarter after leaving late in the first to receive stitches on his bottom lip after being knocked down under the basket. The Mavericks ended the half on a nice run to tie it. At the half it was 57-57. Rudy Gobert led the Jazz with 17 points in the first half. He got there on 8-13 shooting. He also had 9 rebounds. Charlie Villanueva led the way for Dallas with 15 points.
The Jazz opened the game up in the third. Bryce Cotton continued to impress by hitting baskets in transition and knocking down a three. Rudy Gobert continued his efforts in the third by upping his rebound total to 15. Christopher Johnson made a couple big threes that lifted the Jazz to a big lead. Dallas was ineffective on defense, allowing the Jazz to score 30 points. What’s more, the Jazz were stifling on defense, only giving up 12 points to the Mavs. Dallas cooled off to 45% on 27/60 shooting. At the end of three it was 87-69 for the Jazz.
The Jazz let off the gas a little bit in the fourth quarter, allowing the Mavericks to close the gap. Dallas went on a run that got them within 13 with 2:57 left to play. The Jazz got things under control and put together a good stretch on defense to close out the game. Bryce Cotton came alive in the fourth. He had a crossover followed by a made jumper, and a huge dunk on a break away. Cotton led the Jazz with 21 points. The Jazz won their home finale 109-92.
Despite the fact that Dallas rested Tyson Chandler and Dirk Nowitzki, this was a good win for the Jazz, who were also shorthanded. They put up a solid effort the whole game. This was the kind of performance we’ve come to expect from the Jazz during the second half of this season. The message that Quin Snyder has sent is that the Jazz will play hard no matter what the circumstances. The team got better over the course of the season, and that’s as much as anyone could ask for. It should be interesting to see what happens this summer and in the season to come.
Quin Snyder: http://espn700sports.com/?p=64190
Rudy Gobert: http://espn700sports.com/?p=64211
Joe Ingles: http://espn700sports.com/?p=64214
Trevor Booker: http://espn700sports.com/?p=64217
Bryce Cotton: http://espn700sports.com/?p=64223
Rodney Hood: http://espn700sports.com/?p=64226
Subscribe to ESPN700's News!
Get the latest sports news, contests and flyaways, and more straight to your inbox with our weekly emails.