Game Recap: Jazz 116 Heat 114 (OT)

Game Details

7:30 PM ET, November 9th, 2010
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL


1 2 3 4 OT Final
UTA 13 19 30 42 12 116
MIA 25 26 24 29 10 114

Top Performers
Utah: P. Millsap 46 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk
Miami: L. James 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 14 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk Box Score


Ho-ly Frak.

There were so many moments in this game when it seemed like the Jazz were bound to lose the game. So many times when I started preparing myself for the loss, attempting to comfort myself in the thought that ‘we put up a good fight,’ or ‘at least we made a game of it.’

It was improbable, and it wouldn’t have happened without a career night from Millsap, but man, that was a satisfying win. I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are going to call it lucky, but there is no denying that the Jazz never gave up through the second half, and crawled their way back out of a 19 point hole (22 at one point in the 2nd quarter).

The Jazz looked awful in the first half. They opened with a couple free throws from Kirenlinko, and had a 2-1 lead for the first minute or so, but they then fell to a miserable run from the Heat. At one stretch, the Jazz converted only 4 possessions from 9:30 left in the first through 9:45 left in the second. Meanwhile, the Heat put up 25 in the 1st and 26 in the second. The Jazz put up a bit of a fight for about three minutes late in the 2nd, but by all assumptions, the Jazz were heading towards the losing end of a blowout.

As you’ll see below, the story from post game interviews is that Raja Bell gave a speech at halftime, one that captured everyone’s attention, and inspired each guy to shrug off the struggles they’ve had so far this season and just focus on the work at hand.

(When Salt Lake Tribune reporters attempted to get Bell to talk about said speech, he told them he had to take off to ‘meet up with his family.’ I don’t know if he took off because he didn’t want to expose what’s talked about in the locker room, or he didn’t want to take attention away from Millsap big night, or he actually just preferred to celebrate with his rather than taking his piece of the credit for the win; but whatever the case, I am so, so, so happy he is back in that Jazz locker room.)

The Jazz came out strong in the third on both ends of the floor and started the work of cutting back into the lead. Williams started driving into the basket (something that was key to what happened later on), guys started attacking the glass on rebounds, and Millsap started heating up. Millsap went for 18 in the third, partly thanks to 6 third quarter assists from Williams. The Jazz were still down 13 at the start of the fourth (62-75), but they were showing signs of life.

Now, for the record, The Heat played well. Wade and James were fully in command of the offense, Bosh had maybe his best game of the season in terms of body-ing up in the paint and forcing the Jazz to deal with him. The Heat were also getting meaningful contributions from James Jones, Big Z and Carlos Arroyo.

Still, the Jazz kept coming, erasing the deficit in the first six minutes of the 4th and actually pulling ahead with 6:23 left on a jumper from Williams. The Heat came back strong, pulling back out to a 7-point lead with 2:30 left. Kirenlinko and Williams brought the Jazz back to a 4 point deficit with less than a minute to, but then Wade and James hit their free throws to extend their lead back out to 8 with 37 seconds left. The JAzz called a timeout, but game looked to be in Miami’s hands. So much so that the NBA TV announcers showed the credits graphic and did their usual ‘we’d like to thank you for tuning in tonight’ speech.

What happened next was amazing.

Paul Millsap, a 2-20 career three point shooter found himself wide open behind the three point line, and drilled it. And then he drilled another one with 12 seconds left. And then he drilled another one with 4 seconds left.

Thanks to an additional three point shot from Williams before he fouled out, and a couple missed free throws from Arroyo, the Jazz found themselves down two, with the ball and with 3 seconds left on the clock. Miles missed his three pointer, but Millsap was there for the put back to send the game into overtime.

With Williams out and Jefferson playing poorly (1-7 from the field), Sloan sent out Ronnie Price, C.J Miles, Andrei Kirenlinko, Paul Millsap and Kyrylo Fesenko to face the Big Three at the start of the overtime period.

No, seriously.

Wade had put on his cape, and wound up being responsible for all 10 of Miami’s points in the period, but Fesenko closed down the lane, put up some points, and got some key rebounds when they needed them (he even made a free throw).

Free throws proved to be key for the Jazz, as 7 of their 12 points came from the line. Sloan leaned on his team to keep attacking the basket and forcing the foul. He subbed in Francisco Elson for Fesenko with 23 seconds left, as Elson stood a better chance at the line. Sure enough, Elson was fouled with .4 seconds left, and calmly hit both free throws (even though I’m pretty sure he intended to miss the second one). Eddie House missed the final attempt and the Miami crowd went home frustrated.

Incredible win for the Jazz, and a huge night for Millsap, who finished with 46 (the highest single-game point total from a Jazzman since Malone in ’84). It’s also worth pointing out that Williams finished with 21 points and 14 assists, while Wade finished with 39 points, Bosh finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, and LeBron earned his first triple double of the season.

P.S. Love this post from Dan Hanson on UtahJazz360, who collected various tweets on Millsap’s performance. My current favorite:
@Igor1973: the worlds most interesting man doesn’t watch basketball often, but when he does, he prefers Paul Milsap.

Game Quotes

Paul Millsap

“When Raja talks, something’s really wrong. So, first of all, we had to pick it up. We didn’t want to come out and get blown out. We knew they was going to try to blow us out of the game, and they tried to do that in the first half. Because we wasn’t physical.

It was touching. … He don’t [usually take that role]. He’s kind of soft spoken in the locker room. But I guess when we needed him, he came through for us. And that actually helped us out.”

Deron Williams

“He told us … we can’t let our offense dictate our defense. We’ve got to be tough, no matter what. We’ve got to play hard, no matter what. We had a lot of shots rim out and we kind of hung our heads, and I was kind of guilty of it as well the first quarter, the first half. And we didn’t do that the second half. If we missed or made a mistake, we just went on to the next play.

“This was a team win. Paul put us on his back offensively, but everybody won this game. … I can say that everybody on the team that got in helped us.”

Williams also praised Fesenko, Elson, Miles and Price.
Al Jefferson

“That’s the thing about this team, man. For me to have a bad game; D-Will to foul out; and we still put ourselves in a position to win. We still won.”

Ronnie Price

“That shows that we have enough talent in this locker room in order to do those types of things. But you don’t win championships doing that. You win championships by playing 48 minutes every night. Learning experience.”

Quotes from the Salt Lake Tribune.

~ by djepperson on November 10, 2010.

2 Responses to “Game Recap: Jazz 116 Heat 114 (OT)”

  1. […] their matches against the Clippers and the Heat, the Jazz started very poorly, falling into deep holes early on. In both games (and really, through […]

  2. […] Heat, Magic, Hawks, Bobcats […]

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