Game Recap: Jazz 102 : Lakers 96

Game Details

9:00 PM ET, November 26, 2010
Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT

1 2 3 4 Final
LAL 33 17 22 24 96
UTA 17 29 29 27 102

Top Performers
Los Angeles: P. Gasol 21 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk
Utah: D. Williams 29 Pts, 1 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl Box Score


I don’t yet have numbers to back me up – I’m diving into research mode today – but right now, I’d put the Jazz second unit up near the top of the best second units in the league. If it came to a debate, I’m pretty sure my opening salvo would be that two nights after provoking the momentum defining run that lead to a ten point victory on the Hornets, the Jazz second unit sparked a 19 point comeback on the defending champion Lakers, and put Deron Williams in a position to win the game.

To a certain extent, that spark started right here:

The Lakers shot 19% from the field in the 2nd quarter, and the Jazz executed a 29-9 run to take the lead with 1:48 left in the half. The Lakers then went on a 5-0 run to head into the break up four.

The Lakers shooting continued to struggle through the rest of the game (in fact the Lakers shot only 20 of 60 in the final three quarters), and even though the Jazz won the 3rd quarter 29-22, there wasn’t a single fan in that arena who didn’t know who was going to get the majority of looks in the 4th.

Sure enough, Smoke Monster checked back into the game and drilled a 24-foot three point shot. And on the next Laker possession, he drilled a 25-foot three point shot. And then on the next possession, he nailed a two point shot… and then on the next possession he hit a 26-foot three point shot… and then on the next possession he drew a foul from behind the three point line… and then proceeded to hit all three free throws.

During yesterday morning’s shoot around, Deron Williams said that in recent history, he felt like the Jazz were able to keep up with the Lakers pretty well in each game except for one run.

“We usually play good against them except for one little stretch, where they just kind of blow us out of the water. We just have to stay poised, and a lot of that is mental. If they make a little run, you can’t hang your heads; you can’t start panicking. Because you know it’s going to happen. They’re too good of a team not to make runs.”

Quote from SL Trib.

Normally, a 4th-quarter fourteen point hot streak by Smoke Monster is the kind of thing that buries the Jazz (hell, it usually buries almost any team in the league), but the difference was that this time the Jazz kept coming back.

Right after Kobe’s first three, Deron Williams replied with a 2-pointer; after his second, Raja Bell replied with a 2 pointer. Then Jefferson hit two key free throws, then Williams dished up a beautiful assist for a Milsap layup, then Williams nailed a three point shot over former teammate Derek Fisher to tie the game at 96 with 1:05 seconds left.

Perhaps more importantly, The Jazz did everything they could to stop the hot streak, and… it worked. After his three free throws, Smoke Monster didn’t take another shot and Lakers wouldn’t score another point for the rest of the game.

Williams got a key steal with a 1:02 left that lead to a layup for Bell to go up 2. Bell would hit two free throws, as would Kirilenko, and what do you know? The Jazz beat the Lakers.

With this win, the Jazz extend to 12-5 and hold on to a 1/2 game lead on the Thunder for the top of the Northwest. The Lakers, whose only other losses were to the Nuggets and the Suns, still own a 5 game lead on Phoenix in the Pacific.

The Jazz head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Sunday and will face Milwaukee, Indiana and Dallas at home this week.

Game Quotes

Jerry Sloan

“It looked pretty bleak out there in the early part of the ballgame when they got out to a pretty good lead on us. Again our second group came in and gave us a tremendous lift. They got the fans behind us. Their energy level jumped up a great deal. We ran the ball up the floor and got a couple lay-ups out of it and I think that really made a difference in our confidence level. We had a lot of guys play well. Obviously you have to play against this team. You see Kobe Bryant go off for what he did, we went and doubled him finally. We came out of it alive. Looked like we were going to crumble a little bit, but our guys kept fighting. That’s the one thing that was really impressive for us. Keep battling, give yourself a chance. Doesn’t make any difference who you’re playing. Don’t be intimidated and I thought we stuck with it all night after we got past the first quarter.”

On Jazz comebacks this season:

“You’re going to let people know who you are. The whole world knows if you won’t fight back. Everybody’s got televisions and stuff like that. People study that, scout that, and they find out who you are in those situations. Are you going to fold your tent or are you going to come and fight for your life? I’ve been proud of these guys because they’ve done that. We know we’ve got some shortcomings to work on and continue. It’s not an overnight thing. It takes a long time.”

Deron Williams

“It was a great win for us. Again, the first quarter was bad, but the second group again just gave us the energy that we needed. It makes us [the first group] want to play harder. As we see how hard they’re playing, we can’t let them go out there and do all the fighting. Once the second group came in, I thought we did a much better job defensively, rebounding the ball better and getting up the floor a lot better.

“We’re going to get better as we play more together, just as any team does.”

“If we can survive our first quarters I think we’re as good as anybody. A matter of doing what we did this game from the second quarter on. It’s just getting stops, executing well, every possession counts.”

Raja Bell

“I think that it’s a big stepping stone for us as a team. We’ve played some good pretty good teams and come back, but we haven’t played anybody with the resume of the Lakers and been able to come back, especially on our home floor where we’ve struggled a bit. It was a good win for us and I think we all now believe we can do it. Now we just need to find a way to come out of the gates and really start to assert ourselves early in the game.”

C.J. Miles
Most important win of the season?

“Definitely, one of them. It’s definitely been a great test the last couple of games. Two good teams we’ve played against, and to be able to show that we can play against those guys.”

Al Jefferson

“I haven’t beaten the Lakers in probably six years, since I left Boston, and I haven’t been in a playoff game in six years and it felt like a playoff game. Every possession counted. Kobe Bryant being who he is, and we were down, we fought back, we didn’t give up. We won against all odds. It was just amazing man. I’m overwhelmed. It’s never been like this before, and to be a part of this. It just meant a lot to me.”

“We’re coming together. We know what it takes. We know if we play great defense, rebound, and run the floor, if we get stops, we’ll be able to run and it’s been working for us. When the Lakers went up 19 on us, we didn’t panic. We knew we had been there before. We knew how to adjust to that and the second unit once again was the big for us, real big. They brought both their energy and got us back in the game. And then our captain, our leader, that boy [Deron Williams] is something special. He brought us home.”

Phil Jackson

“They have a lot of energy. They got their small guard group and they got some penetration, did some things. Defensively they played a little better but that is going to happen on this court. They are going to have games like that. The real thing about that game was we let it get away on that turnover steal that (Raja) Bell got. There will be some tough times on the road. The road is not always easy out there.”

Smoke Monster

“We went out there guarding the basket. Price and Watson, the second group, they got to the basket with easy layups. They put some pressure on us, pushed to turn the ball over. The second unit came is and did a really good job. They picked up the pace, the energy was great. We did not make shots; we helped them get in transition. It was good game by them.”

“They are a great team. They got a lot of talent. They play that way all the time. You can take the softest player in the league and put him on the Jazz and he’ll turn into a tough guy.”

Quotes from the Salt Lake Tribune

~ by djepperson on November 27, 2010.

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