EMPTY THE NOGGIN – Burks and Hayward lead Jazz to win but don’t forget Big Al

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Jazz trailed this game 86-81 with 6 minutes to play and Corbin came out of the timeout with Burks, Hayward and Foye as the guards with Millsap and Jefferson and the Jazz went on a 19-8 run to close the game and win it.

• Gordon Hayward was a star tonight. He finished with 27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assist and 2 blocks. One of the blocks came on a fast break by late in the 3rd or early 4th and changed the energy of the game. The block came with the Mavericks up 8 with 10:30 left in the game. Mavericks lead it 82-74. Jazz went on a 6-0 run immediately following.

• Hayward was aggressive and confident and carried the Jazz in the 2nd quarter. He had 15 points in the 2nd quarter which was a career high points in a quarter. His 27 points is the second most he has scored in a game.

• Hayward’s pick and roll play was fabulous tonight. He didn’t turn the ball over and created numerous chances for big. When the pick is set right this pick and roll can be a nice play when it is slipped … whatever.

• Hayward hit 4 of 5 from three point range and is now 14 of his last 23 and 28 of his last 55 from the three

• The Jazz have not been a good 4th quarter defensive team but tonight they held the Mavericks to 14 4th quarter points and just 5 of 16 shooting and the Mavericks missed all 5 three point attempts.

• OJ Mayo has been the key to the Mavericks all season and Hayward guarded him in the 4th quarter along with Burks and Foye on different possessions and Mayo went 0 for 5 with 0 for 4 from three. Mayo has been great late in games this year bur prior to this year he Memphis he was a terrible late game player.

• For a stretch of the 3rd and 4th quarter Kanter had to guard Brand and Favors guarded Dirk and it was interesting to see how the veteran players found air space and took advantage of the youngsters. Hopefully they will learn from that experience.

• Huge plays down the stretch – Jefferson takes a charge on Dirk drive with 30 seconds left. Jefferson hits a huge jumper over Kaman with 1:09 left to give Jazz a 5 point lead and Hayward a monster 3 with 2:16 to finish off a 13-0 run that changed the game.

• Burks played the point well. He didn’t have any assists but he is an offensive threat. He got to the line 9 times, and finished with 13 points, 9 of them in the 4th quarter. He added 4 rebounds, an assist and a block. These were big minutes in his career. He has been patient and while he struggled with not playing he has been engaged once he got his shot and he is earning more time. His shooting is still a bit problematic he is 20 of 55 since getting back in the rotation. His three tonight was a prayer at the shot clock buzzer and it was huge.

• Dallas over the last 10 games had been the worst defensive team in the NBA, they made the Jazz work tonight. Sometimes it is tough playing a team coming off their lowest point of the season but the Jazz held them off.

• Jazz are getting better. They have played well in 5 of the last 6 games.