EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• You knew this was going to be a good night when the National Anthem singer lost his mic and he battled his way through and the crowd pick him up signing the final verses.
• Great performance by the Jazz. When you are playing the Thunder you can’t afford to blink. The effort has to be sustained the entire game and the Jazz did exactly that tonight. The defensive effort and energy was terrific. The Jazz dictated the tempo. Forced the Thunder out of what they wanted to do and were the aggressors the entire night.
• Ron Boone made a great point on the POSTCAST that the Thunder lack of assists shows how the Jazz broke the Thunder offensive rhythm.
• Lots of heroes tonight. Hard to signal out individuals on a terrific team performance. Jazz grabbed 16 offensive rebounds as the Thunder grabbed 19 defensive rebounds.
• The Jazz lead by 2 at the end of 1 – 6 at the half – 7 going into the 4th and then blew the game open on a 18-4 run to open the 4th quarter. Jefferson hit two big shots in the initial run while Kevin Martin took an ill advised three in transition and the Jazz took advantage. Brooks called timeout with the Jazz up 13 and the Jazz didn’t let up at all. Despite three poor offensive possessions in a row the Jazz maintained the defensive pressure and Watson, Burks and Favors hit buckets to put the Jazz up by 17. Durant flagrant foul and the game was over.
• It would be concerning to me if I was a Thuder fan that Durant and Westbrook can combine to go 19 of 30 and they still lose. Kevin Martin wilted tonight.
• Jamaal Tinsley hit two threes tonight that were enormous.
• Jefferson and Millsap won the interior battle big time. Millsap had 18 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals in 24 minutes. That is sick. Jefferson had 23 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in 33 minutes.
• Alec Burks first half was very poor but he answered back in the 2nd half with some great basketball. Jerry Sloan always talked about guys learning how to not play backwards. He played with tremendous confidence, he ran some nice pick and roll action and hit a pull up jumper off one of the pick and rolls. He hit 6 of 11 and is now 23 of his last 45 from the field. I love his rebounding. 5 rebounds for the Jazz from a guard position is a necessary addition to this team. I wouldn’t worry about the 6 turnovers, he will figure that out.
• Favors was very impactful tonight . He is finishing off contact better as the season goes on and using his strength and his body to get looks around the basket. Tonight was more catch and react around the rim. He went after the tin.
• Jazz got 12 points and 11 assists on 5 of 6 shooting out of the point guards. Plus, forced Westbrook into 7 turnovers.
• DeMarre has been in double figures in 6 of his last 7 games.
• Corbin found some offensive sets in the first half that the Thunder weren’t adapting to and he pounded the cross series time and time to get the results and work on the Thunder weakness.
• The Jazz are a team that was built to endure 82 games and tonight is a great example. Missing their starting point guard as well as their 6th man and at time best player on the team they went toe to toe with the Western Conference champs and beat them soundly. Out playing the Thunder bench in the key moments of the game and running away with a huge win.
Kevin Durant after the game “They kicked our ass”