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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Donovan Mitchell wows in a remarkable game in San Antonio

David Locke

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EMPTYING THE NOGGIN

Summary:  In a remarkable regular season game that felt like a remarkable playoff game the San Antonio Spurs beat the Utah Jazz in overtime 124-120

  • This was an incredible game.   The energy level from both teams was off the charts.  The hustle and determination from both clubs never wavered.  The star players on each side were beyond what was reasonable.  The coaches of each team are elite and their teams played as great representatives of their coaches.

 

  • Donovan Mitchell put on a 4th quarter show to will the Jazz back in the game that will have fans in Utah buzzing all weekend long. Greg Popovich called what Donovan did “courage” and it is probably the best word to explain his performance.  He is really special.  He was not having a great night.  The Spurs are hard to play.  They force you into low percentage looks and they don’t foul much.  Plus, Donovan has been struggling with his three.   Heading into the 4th quarter Donovan was 1 for 6 from three and 4 of his last 32.  He was 8 of 22 overall for 19 points.  Then the 4th quarter happened he was 5 of 8 and 3 of 4 from three and finished had 14 points.  But that doesn’t tell the story.

 

  • Down 5 with 4:00 left Mitchell got a steal and went coast to coast for a layup and all of a sudden a game where the Jazz had been on the ropes and clinging to keep contact was a three point game. At this point the Spurs had been brilliant, LaMarcus Aldridge had been amazing.   Yet the Jazz were within 3.

 

  • Then with 1:47 left he pulled for three after having missed another one moments before and tied the game at 104. The guts to pull that shot when you were 4 of your last 33 is beyond reason.  He followed with a driving layup to tie the game at 106.   Just insane only it would get better.

 

  • Donovan then made a crucial error that looked it would cost the Jazz the game. He got double teamed and threw the ball away.   The Jazz were down 4 after the Spurs basket and just :38 seconds left.  Donovan then did it again and hit a three with :16 seconds left.  The Spurs made it a three point game after Manu hit two free throws and then Donovan blew all our minds.  He sprinted up the right side of the floor and rose up and I mean ROSE UP for a three on the right side of the floor and tied the game with 3.6 seconds left.   The NBA world was aghast.

 

  • In overtime, the Jazz had an early lead and had the game if they could have grabbed defensive rebounds. Leading by 3 the Jazz forced LaMarcus Aldridge into a miss from 11 feet out but Rudy Gay grabbed the defensive rebound and finished it with 1:18 left.  Then the Jazz were down 1 when Rudy Gay missed and LaMarcus Aldridge got the offensive rebound and scored to make it a 3 point game with :34.7 seconds left.

 

  • The Spurs were really sharp all night. LaMarcus Aldridge had a new career high.   Yet the Jazz stayed in the game the entire time.  They show a fight and a resiliency that is the signature of a really good team and the signature of personalities of this team.

 

  • The Spurs run the side pick and roll and get to the baseline forcing Gobert to cut off the path and then LaMarcus Aldridge would pop out for a jumper. Aldridge had hit on 40% of his shots outside 15 feet this year and he hit on 5 for 5 to open the game.  Ideally, you get him to put the ball of the floor but when he did that he drove the basket and was finishing in the restricted area.  He was unreal and it felt like it would be too much throughout the game.   The Jazz switched Favors on him in the third quarter and that seemed to change his rhythm a bit.   Aldridge doesn’t have much help.  Paddy Mills is the other guy and two of them did everything they had to get the Spurs their 6th straight win,

 

  • Manu Ginobili had 12 4th quarter points. This included a remarkable finish over Gobert late in the game. At 40 years old are you kidding me.

 

  • This could go on forever. Ricky Rubio carried the team offensively for a while. Joe Ingles hit a monster three to tie the game.  The Jazz didn’t lead from the 4:00 mark of the 2nd quarter till overtime.  Derrick Favors had a great game.  Dante Exum had his best stint of the season in the 1st   It is endless.  This was a great game.

 

  • The road win streak ends at 12

David Locke enters his ninth year as the radio play-by-play voice of the Utah Jazz, having spent the majority of his career in radio in Salt Lake City and Seattle. In the summer of 2016, Locke created the Locked on Podcast Network which has podcast daily bite sized podcasts for every NBA and NFL team. A native of Palo Alto, Calif., Locke graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Locke and his wife have a son and a daughter.

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