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Emptying the Noggin - Rudy is Unreal

By David Locke, Utah Jazz

Summary: The Jazz win an improbable game in overtime behind incredible plays by Rudy Gobert. The Jazz truly sneak out of Sacramento with a win, 110-109.

  • The Jazz play 12 of their final 18 games against playoff teams, playing 7 of their next 9 on the road. They simply had to win tonight and it never felt like they were going to until the review at the buzzer overturned the call on the floor and gave the Jazz the win on a Rudy Gobert tip-in.
  • The Jazz trailed by 6 points after the first quarter, by 14 at the half and by 12 going into the fourth quarter. They trailed by 7 points with 2:04 left, by 6 with 1:18 left by 4 with :37 left and didn’t have the ball; The win probability for the Kings at that point was 98%.
  • How did it happen? Hayward hit a three with 13.9 left after the Jazz got a steal on the previous possession. Gobert set an amazing pick to free Gordon for the 3-pointer. Cauley-Stein split the free throws and the Jazz were down 2 points with :10 left. Hayward came off a Gobert pick and they brought two Kings to him and Gobert took two giant steps to the basket from 16 feet out and laid it up and in with 3.6 seconds left to tie. The Jazz got a chance to win when the Kings turned over the inbound and ran an amazing play but George Hill missed the floater at the buzzer.
  • Two minutes into the overtime, the Jazz took their first lead in 46 minutes of basketball but they quickly were on the wrong side again. They were down 4 points with 1:22 left when Joe Ingles hit a three at 1:07 left to bring the Jazz within one point. Cauley-Stein missed both free throws and Hill hit a runner to put the Jazz up by one. The Jazz got a stop and with :17 left Hill was fouled with a chance to give the Jazz a 3-point lead. He missed both free throws and the Kings didn’t call timeout and pushed the ball up the floor where Willie Cauley-Stein tried to dunk on Gobert but was fouled. He hit both free throws this time and the Jazz were down one point with 8.9 seconds left. Hill drove against Cauley-Stein but came up short and Rudy Gobert tipped in the game winner as time expired.
  • The officials called it interference and had to go to the review and then overturned the call. 
  • Rudy was unreal. He made these huge plays late. He had 16 points, 24 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks.
  • Rodney Hood also had a big time night. He got rolling in the early part of the fourth quarter to bring the Jazz back. He had 28 points on 10 of 17 shooting and 4 of 8 from three. Before he got ignited, the offense was not rolling and he got the Jazz going.
  • The is necessary and dramatic but the Jazz didn’t play well. The defense was very poor most of the night before holding the Kings to 16 fourth quarter points. The guard penetration and the breakdowns were all over the place.
  • The is necessary and dramatic but the Jazz didn’t play well. The defense was very poor most of the night before holding the Kings to 16 fourth quarter points. The guard penetration and the breakdowns were all over the place.
  • The offense didn’t have its usual flow. There was a lot of ball stopping. It happened more tonight with George Hill than I have seen before and I don’t know if it is something the Kings were doing. This team is very dependent on George.  He was just 4 of 14 tonight. He did have 8 assists but it didn’t seem right.
  • Alec Burks played 15 minutes tonight was -9. This is happening a bit too often. The Jazz are struggling both offensively and defensively when he is on the floor. Some of this is when he plays with Dante. Going into the night, the Jazz were -13.6 per 100 possessions when both of them are on the floor together. The offense is those circumstance is a 96.8 per 100 possessions (would be 30th in NBA by a large margin). The Jazz are +2.2 when Alec is on the floor and Dante is off. 
  • No Joe Johnson tonight, so Boris Diaw played some power forward and then Ingles/Hayward closed the game as the 3/4 combo.  
  • Gordon Hayward doesn’t seem as aggressive right now. I could be making something up in my head, but he didn’t seem quite right. On the other hand, he had 11 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, finishing with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists so what the #$*& am I asking from him?
  • Sacramento had great balance and played really hard. They didn’t complain about calls every second and they had a zest to how they played.  
  • When the Jazz hold a playoff position by one game, remember this one.