EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Walker waltzes to win over hard fighting Jazz

• Uggh a double overtime loss. They are killers because of the energy and wear and tear put on the players bodies without any dividend. This one will linger a bit and impact the next few games. When you put out this much effort you want to leave with something and the Jazz didn’t.

• The Jazz made a ton of plays to get this game to double overtime. The Hornets had absolutely insane breakdowns and the Jazz took advantage. Trey Burke got free for a three off Walker free throws with :11 left to tie the game. With :15 left in Overtime #1 down 5 the Jazz got Joe Ingles wide open for a three and he hit it. Charlotte should allow anything but a 3. Then with it a 2 point game and :07 seconds in Overtime 1 they doubled Hayward and never rotated over to Gobert so worried about the three they left Gobert for a wide open dunk. The defense was so bad it made me think they meant to allow and if you heard my call I got confused what the score was because I thought they had meant to let him score. Crazy. Jazz credit when given these chances they made the plays.

• Jazz were down 13 with 11:11 left. Battled back got it tied with 4:42 and took the lead. They never had a chance to take more than a one possession lead in the 4th quarter. In fact, the only time they had a chance to knock the game out was a Trevor Booker 3 from the left corner up 4 with 3:52 left in the 1st overtime. Had they hit that all the momentum was with them. However, when he missed, the Hornets made a bunch of plays and regained control of the game.

• Gordon Hayward carried the Jazz in first half of the game. It was his 12th 20 point half of his career and only the 2nd in the first half of a game. Hayward was marvelous with Batum on him for a lot of the night. 36 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. With all the injuries the burden on Gordon has been incomprehensible and he has been terrific. 48 minutes tonight. There is a reason they don’t ask players to play 48 minutes it is too much.

• Hayward had 4 points and 3 assists accounting for 11 points in the 2 overtimes. Hayward didn’t have a field goal in the final 15 minutes of the game. He did go 6 for 6 from the line and 5 assists. All season long if teams restricted Gordon’s ability to get shots he has created opportunities for his teammates and when he has been given air space he has almost always knock them down.

• Trey Burke took 10 shots in the final 15 minutes and didn’t have an assist. So the Jazz inverted roles late in the game. This is the part of the game where they miss Alec both for his ability offensively and defensively to be able to switch and do things differently.

• Trey Lyles play has made it a hard call on who should be on the floor between Trevor Booker and Trey Lyles. Booker probably played his best game of the year today.

• Rodney Hood and Trey Burke started slow. The Jazz couldn’t make a basket to open the 2nd quarter. They went till the 7:14 mark of the 2nd quarter before getting a field goal. Trey Burke got it rolling with big buckets in the 4th quarter and overtime. Rodney never got it rolling he finished

• Marvin Williams made a ton of big plays late in this game. Such the ultimate pro.

• Rodney Hood is now 0 for 11 from three in the final 5 minutes of a game within 5 points this season and 0 for 16 in his career

• All of this and no mention of Kemba Walker. Kemba is where this should start and end and it is where it will end. He was awesome. It is one of the great performances you will see. 52 points, 9 rebound and 8 assists. Maybe the most awesome play of the night was when he missed got his own rebound and put it back in. He was unstoppable. He got rolling early when the Jazz played him soft off the pick and roll and then he was in a rhythm the whole game. The Jazz wanted to run the Hornets off the line to make them play on the dribble and he was terrific. In final 15 minutes he went just 5 of 15 but hit all 10 of his free throws and finished with 21 points. He had a special night. That is why his team won. Anything less and the Jazz could have stolen a win in Charlotte.

• Take some time and read MLK’s work or watch Eye on the Prize. Remember Martin Luther King Jr.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Amazingly Jazz had a chance

• The Jazz missed 18 straight shots from the 1st quarter into the 2nd quarter. The Jazz shot 4 of 24 in the first quarter. At halftime Gordon Hayward was 0 for 9 and Rodney hood was 0 for 6. Amazingly, the Jazz were still in the game. They still had a chance late. That is remarkable.

• Jazz just made too many mistakes. Transition defense was porous. Turnovers early in games are a big issue that are consistent night to night in the 1st quarter.

• One of the biggest plays of the game is the Jazz cut the game to 9 but they froze and didn’t get back defensively and the Kings got a layup in the final 1.4 seconds on the other end. This is a big play in a one play loss.

• Trey Lyles notched a career high for the second straight night. He is showing an array of skills. He is hitting the corner 3. He is showing and going off the threat of this jumper. He is hitting a floater. He is taking it all the way to the rim for vicious slams. He caught at the elbow and swung through on Casspi and beat him hard to the basket plus the foul. He is 20 years old.

• Trevor Booker got swiped across the face after Cousins was called for a travel and the he got frustrated and did I am a spoiled brat run to the rim dunk after the whistle which he missed and hit Booker across the face and he was out on his feet.

• Lyles and Neto kept the Jazz in the game while the rest of the bunch were struggling miserably.

• Rudy Gobert is playing his heart out on the floor but he is not right. He does not have his usual bounce and he is not having the same impact as when he is fully healthy. It is going to take some time.

• The Jazz defense in the 2nd half took away most of the Kings fast break game and forced them to play more in the half court.

• Jazz were down 11 going into the 4th quarter and battled to get back to a possession by possession game. There is such a small margin for error at that point.

• Hayward and Ingles hit big shots that tied the game before Rudy Gay hit the game winner with .6 seconds left.

• Cousins is a beast – 36 points and 17 rebounds. He is hard to handle.

• Gordon Hayward set a new career high with 16 FTA in a game.

• Sacramento has won the season series from the Jazz. I have thought all year the Kings were a playoff team. They are built with a veteran bench to get them through injuries and with experience in close games and tough situations. They are going to be hard to hold off for the Jazz.