With a sluggish offense late in the fourth quarter, Utah Jazz coach Ty Corbin called Alec Burks’ number and gave him the green light to score. Burks took full use of his carte blanche pass from Corbin, and scored 10 straight points to propel the Jazz to a 105-100 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. With the win, the Jazz have won three straight games for the first time this season.
Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams tied the ballgame at 91 on a free throw with about 2 minutes left. Burks wasn’t about to let his Jazz fall behind as he went off, scoring seemingly at will.
Burks ended up with 26 points on the night, but here’s the best part about his stat line – he only had 10 shot attempts, making six of those. 26 points, on 60% shooting, along with 4 rebounds and 1 assist, is just absolutely phenomenal. Efficiency is fast becoming the measuring stick for good players in this league – putting up huge point totals doesn’t mean as much if it takes an inordinate amount of shots to get there. Burks is showing that he’s becoming a smarter scorer – and indeed he is. High scorers such as Kevin Durant and LeBron James make their living at the free-throw line, and Burks was 13-14 from the charity stripe Wednesday night.
A few weeks ago, I talked about whether or not Burks had the ability to become a consistent scorer in this league. After all, if the Jazz want to get serious about contending, they need a player they can count on to provide points every night. Burks is gradually becoming that player for Utah.
“Easy Twenty” as Marvin Williams calls him, now has back-to-back 20 point performances for the first time in his career after scoring 24 points Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Jazz now have a winning streak heading into the All-Star break. With huge games and meaningful victories, including a great one against the Miami Heat, Utah looks poised to make a bit of a run. With his improved play, count on Burks to become a bigger and bigger part of that.