SUMMARY: The Jazz get one and live to play another day
• The Jazz got the vital early lead and held on for an exciting win. In 8 of the 9 games of the last two years the team that has an 8 point first quarter lead wins the game.
• Jae Crowder and Ricky Rubio carried the offensive load for the Jazz early. Jae Crowder scored the first 9 points for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio was conducting tonight with more vigor than he had in the previous games.
• The Jazz were breaking the paint time and time again tonight. The shooting wasn’t dramatically better but the offense continued to get good looks and played as the aggressor.
• In fact the offense went cold for the entire 2nd quarter and for the first half of game 3 and it felt very similar to other games of the series.
• The Jazz defense on James Harden continues to slow down the leagues best offensive player. Harden is now 4 of 23 on shots in the paint non restricted area. That is the shot the Jazz wanted him to take. What has happened now is that Harden is aware of it and is no longer wanted to take the shot. He missed his first two of the night and then never attempted another one after the first quarter. As the Jazz get better at eliminating Capela on the lobs the Rockets offense begins to stutter a bit.
• Harden’s step back is still awesome. I believe he was 6 for 9 on the step back tonight and 2 for 10 otherwise.
• The Rockets missed all 13 three point shots in the 4th quarter and the last one of the third quarter missing 14 straight to close the game. Remember they missed 27 straight v. the Warriors last year.
• The Rockets answer was to play 6 foot 6 feet PJ Tucker at center. Tucker spreads the floor. Tucker hit the most corner 3 of anyone in the NBA. This means Gobert has to go to the corner and then his defensive presence isn’t as valuable. When the Rockets went to PJ Tucker Quin Snyder brought Derrick Favors back in the game and Favors was dominate. He killed the Rockets on the offensive glass in the 4th quarter. Favors had 6 offensive rebounds in the 4h quarter.
• Donovan did it again. He had 19 points in the 4th quarter. He carried the team in the 4th and broke the Jazz out of the offensive doldrums they were in during the game.
• Rockets scored 12 points in the 4th quarter
• The Jazz defense has now kept the Rockets under a point a possession in back to back games.
• Haven’t seen the numbers but don’t have a feeling the Jazz knocked down wide open looks tonight at any absurd level. That night still might come
• The Rockets shot just 10 of 21 at the rim
• Quin coached this one like his back was against the wall. He matched Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert’s minutes. He played Royce O’Neale 33 minutes and Joe Ingles just 23. Rubio and Mitchell each went 40 minutes.
• 6:00 pm start on Wednesday. Let’s do this again. Who knows what might happen. Game 5 would be a good time for the Jazz to get hot.
Interview with Jerry Sloan from March 1997 and Should the Utah Jazz start Georges Niang
In March of 1997 David Locke, now the radio voice of the Utah Jazz and Jazz NBA Insider, sat down with Jerry Sloan for a 1 on 1 conversastion. Thanks to the people at Larsen Digital the tape has been converted and today’s episode has the conversation with Jerry. Plus, should the Jazz start Georges Niang in place of Bojan Bogdanovic.
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