Emptying the Noggin — Jazz get a ‘we-are-better-than-you’ win

Summary: The Jazz win their third straight with a runaway fourth quarter. With the game tied at 80-80, the Jazz went on a 11-0 run to end the game before it got tight late. Rudy Gobert was fabulous and George Hill and Gordon Hayward each had 24 points in the 112-103 win.

·       This was a “we are better than you win.” The game was 80-78 with 8:43 left in the fourth quarter, Quin Snyder went back to the starters and the Jazz ran away with the win. Gobert, Hayward, Hill and Hood all scored in the midst of a 11 -0 run and Boris added a three to make it a 17-7 run.

·       The Jazz are better than Minnesota and they showed it. Minnesota is insanely talented, but the pieces don’t fit yet and they are very young.

·       Rudy Gobert is a force; He dominated around the rim. The Jazz are the number one defense in the NBA at defending the paint. Through three quarters, the Wolves were shooting below 50 percent in the paint. I haven’t seen Rudy’s rim numbers tonight, but his impact is constant.

·       Andrew Wiggins has struggled against Gordon Hayward, and tonight Gordon and friends forced him into 6 of 16 shooting with no free throws. Before the game, Hayward said the key is to force him into contested mid-range jumpers and keep him off of the line. He shot 2 of his 16 shots as three pointers and zero free throws. The defense couldn’t have been more perfect.

·       The Jazz put the second quarter defensive clamps down again, but this was an offensive win.   The game was played at 93 possessions, the Jazz’s offensive rating was over 120 and their defensive rating was 110. League average is 103.7 and anything over 110 is really rolling offensively.

·       How to make a good win feel less good is to have a delay at the airport. We have been sitting outside the airport gate for the last 40 minutes.

·       George Hill was terrific. When Tyus Jones tried to guard him late in the game, he destroyed him. Ricky Rubio was in on him tough. The Wolves had extra high pick up points tonight and it caused the Jazz some difficulties for a few possessions and then they reacted. The same thing happened at the start of the game when the Wolves switched everything — and I mean everything. Then the Jazz figured it out. This is where this team is so different — they understand how to react to various defenses.

·       The Jazz trailed by 5 after one quarter, then outscored the Wolves 28-18 to take a five-point halftime lead. They lead by 11 in the third, but it was back to five when we started the third and then the Wolves gained momentum. Coach Quin went to the starters earlier than he usually does and it was a great move. The Jazz immediately took control of the game.

·       Trey Lyles did a nice job coming off the bench, playing well against his college roommate as he always seems to.

·       Rodney Hood has worked hard on defense the last two games, and with George Hill healthy the Jazz don’t have to have him play well offensively to win the game. He is a threat. He helps open things up for George and Gordon, and on nights when he is hot the Jazz are going to be really tough to beat.

·       Rudy Gobert was as active and tough early in the game as I have ever seen him. He had six defensive rebounds in the opening moments.

·       Rudy went 6 of 8 from the line. He is well over 70 percent in the last 10 games.

·       Boris Diaw was terrific. His ball moving and passing make him a great threat. He made Karl Anthony Towns really work. Quin went with an interesting move to have Boris start on Karl Anthony Towns and it worked. It got Towns into foul trouble and it kept Rudy out of foul trouble.

·       A we-are-better-than-you win by the Jazz – three in a row.