SUMMARY: Utah Jazz pull off an impressive close game win over the Washington Wizards despite injuries and ejections.
- Is it simply as simple as the shots went down tonight? It is a part of it. Tonight the two biggest shots late in the game went down. Joe Ingles was 0 for 5 from three and the ball swung to him for an open three from the angle left. The same exact shot as Miami and tonight he ripped the cords. Then the Jazz pushed in transition and Ricky Rubio got the ball in the right corner, where he was 1 for 11 on the season, and he buried the shot. Jazz win in Washington
- Ekpe Udoh was terrific. Derrick Favors didn’t play tonight and Udoh did everything you could image for the Jazz. He protected the rim, his long arms and quick hands impacted ball handlers and his effort to get back defensively was terrific. Udoh had 2 blocks and 4 steals.
- Udoh also had an impact on the offensive end. Namely on the offensive glass. He had 5 offensive rebounds. Jazz had dropped 27th in the NBA in offensive rebounding. Tonight the Jazz had 14 second chance points. The Jazz offense is not high powered so anytime you can steal points it is incredibly valuable.
- Udoh had 16 points, 5th highest of his NBA career. He also had 9 rebounds.
- The Wizards are completely dependent on playing off your misses and your turnovers. The Jazz had just 13 turnovers, the Wizards still had 20 points off those turnovers. As the game wore on the Jazz kept the Wizards into more and more half court possessions.
- The Jazz trailed by 7 at the end of 1. They cut it to 4 at the half. Then in the third quarter which has been such a problem for the Jazz they blitzed the Wizards. The energy was amazing. The Jazz forced 9 turnovers in the 3rd quarter and took advantage getting out in the open floor. The Jazz had 18 fast break points which was a season high.
- Jonas Jerebko was a large part of the run, slipping the picks and getting rolls to the rim.
- Rodney Hood, who had taken 11 shots in 14:57, got ejected for two separate technical fouls.
- Ricky Rubio had a big first quarter with hitting 5 of his first 6 shots. He finished the night 9 of 17 from the field and had 21 points.
- Joe Ingles deserves incredible credit for being to get his body to a point where he can play 38 minutes and still make a big shot late in the game. He has worked really hard to be able to play this amount and carry this immense work load
- Joe Johnson played as good and active a defensive night as we have seen from him. He finished with 16 points on 5 of 9 shooting, but it was his defensive effort that stood out. Royce O’Neale replaced Alec Burks in the rotation in the 2nd half and was really solid.
- Washington has lost 11 games to below .500 teams this year. They have also struggled in close games. Both John Wall and Bradley Beal have brutal numbers in the clutch.
- From the 5:32 mark to the 1:09 mark of the 4th quarter Donovan Mitchell scored or assisted on all of the Jazz points. He got in foul trouble in the first half and never got a rhythm, but with the game on the line he was able to make the plays.
- Solid win for the Jazz. Even better when Portland, Denver, New Orleans and Oklahoma City all lose. Still a long way to go to get in the playoff race, but if the Jazz can muster one in Charlotte the tide is beginning to turn.
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