Thoughts of Utah Jazz Radio Play-By-Play Announcer David Locke
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN—Jazz answer every shot from Heat
The Jazz beat the Heat. Huge night for the confidence of our young players. Utah has beat the Heat and the Thunder on its home floor. Home-court advantage at EnergySolutions Arena in front of the great Jazz fans is never going away.
Lots of enormous plays by the Jazz to win this game. Close game down the stretch against the Heat and the Jazz won. Jazz have won a remarkable amount of close games this year for a team as young as this one. Marvin hit back-to-back threes (one that was a shot-clock prayer) to maintain the Jazz’s lead with just over three minutes left. Favors nailed both free throws on a generous call with 1:57 left, Jefferson hit a jumper with 1:26 left to put the Jazz up six. Then the biggest of all: Trey Burke did it again, hitting a 19-footer with game down to a single possession, putting the Jazz up by four.
The game was 77-74 with 6:25 left and the Jazz scored on seven of their next 11 possessions for 16 points. Against a world champ that is big-time play offensively.
In that same time period, the Heat scored on eight of 10 possession. For the Jazz to handle that onslaught and keep making plays is super impressive.
The Jazz played from ahead for most of the night. A 12-2 run in the first quarter them a 12-point lead after 12 minutes, and then they held to a two-point lead at the half and a two-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Playing from ahead is a big deal.
Key stretch of the game was the opening of the fourth quarter. With LeBron on the bench, the Jazz took the two-point lead up to seven (with the help of two straight buckets by Enes Kanter), and that gave them enough wiggle room to close the game.
Marvin Williams has been feeling it and led the way again tonight. He nailed five 3-pointers—the most in a game in his career. He had 23 points. He also guarded LeBron for a huge part of the night.
Gordon Hayward has been struggling but he got himself going with hustle plays tonight. He grabbed two offensive rebounds that got his game going. Gordon looked pretty fragile for a few games recently and when he missed two layups early it felt like a night where he could have gone the other way. Instead, he battled through and finished with a big-time night with nine points, nine rebounds and 11 assists. That is impressive. Not a lot of players in the league can put that type of night together. He also had three steals.
First time in eight games Trey Burke has shot over 40% (5-for-11). For Trey Burke to pull up for the game-clincher after shooting 25% in the last five games is either steely or insane. Whatever it is, it tells you a lot about this kid.
Kanter had a better night and was more aggressive going to the basket. He was really quick with one move on Anderson and had a great dunk down the lane.
LeBron just never engaged in the game. The Jazz deserve some credit because the they never let the Heat get on one of their vintage runs. I don’t believe the Heat had anything more than a 6-0 run at any point. Five turnovers for LeBron and only 4-for-13 shooting. You are not going to see that very often. LeBron dictates every matchup, every night—so it was a case of him being off his game more than the Jazz derailing him.
The bellwether for the Heat is Chris Bosh, and he was 3-for-12.
Big-time win for the kids. Two more before the break.