EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz run Nugs out of arena

• An incredible 24-0 run to close the 3rd quarter lead the Jazz to a dominating must win over the Nugs. The Nugs didn’t score for the final 7 minutes of the 4th quarter. They only scored 1 field goal over 12 minutes of basketball. Complete domination

• Rudy Gobert was impactful tonight as he has been on any night all season. He stopped Nurkic early and then in the 3rd quarter the Nuggets couldn’t get anything at the rim. I can’t wait to see what the stats vu numbers are around the rim but Rudy dominated the game with his length and presence.

• Rudy started the game with incredible energy. He was battling for offensive rebounds, he impactful in all aspects.

• The Jazz were ahead by 1 at the half and the Nuggets started to send two guys to Hood and Hayward on the pick and roll it opened up the shooters and the Jazz hit 5 of 7 from 3 to open the quarter. Mack hit 2, Hayward, Hood and Lyles added one each.

• Trey Lyles got the start in place of an injured Derrick Favors. He plays with an incredible fearlessness to his game. The moment didn’t bother him at all and he came out firing. The Nuggets didn’t have a game plan for him and he took advantage bringing Jokic out on the floor.

• Lyles finished with a career high 22

• To open the 3rd quarter the Nuggets went at Lyles continually with Jokic and that will be the next step in Lyles game is his ability to defend.

• Gordon Hayward had back to back steals that lead to layup in the beginning of the 3rd quarter that changed the game

• After the first 6 minutes of the game the Nuggets out played the Jazz considerably. The Jazz stayed in the game with a three point flurry from Hood and 2 from Lyles in a 3 possessions sequence. Without that it could have been a different night.

• Booker had a big impact on the game.

• Alec had a tough 2nd night back and Neto is struggling with his shot and seems reluctant to shoot. Jazz will need both of them tonight.

• Derrick Favors not playing was truly a last minute item, he was announced with the starting line-up in the arena and no one was notified until the tip of the game when Lyles was on the floor.

• Solid win. Monday night v. Dallas is going to be great

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Stunning loss for Jazz

• Stunning loss for the Jazz. The Clippers left the entire starting line-up back in Los Angeles and the Jazz weren’t able to take advantage. This is a game at home that you need to win if you are going to make the playoffs.

• Every player on the Los Angeles Clippers was more experienced than every player on the Utah Jazz (other than CJ Wilcox) and it showed throughout the entire night. The Clippers made so many plays that were veteran smart plays.

• Doc Rivers said before the game I have a number of minutes in mind for Jamal Crawford I know how many minutes he is going to play. Evidently that was 49 minutes. Crawford was the best player on the floor tonight. He controlled the game and had 30 points including the game winning three.

• On the final play Doc Rivers got the switch he wanted with Jamal Crawford on Derrick Favors and Crawford got into rhythm and he did what he has done his whole career and made a huge shot

• The Jazz had the game won in regulation. The Clippers ran a pick and roll for the final play in regulation down 2 and Aldrich got the basket. Hayward came over and made a great defensive play and forced a miss. Favors came into to get the rebound and seemed to have it in his hands but Aldrich ripped it away and put it back in. It is so rare that Derrick gets his hands on a ball and doesn’t corral the rebound but Aldrich wanted it really badly on that final play.

• Gordon missed the shot to win it at the horn. Hayward is now 6 of 13 in the final 24 seconds of a close game this year.

• Hayward had his 6th ever 20-10-5 game. First time the Jazz have ever lost. When the team lacked juice Hayward tried to will the Jazz to victory. At times he over did it and that lead to 7 turnovers. He finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists

• Cole Aldrich killed the Jazz big men tonight with 21 points and 18 rebounds.

• Clippers got the game to be played small. Ingles played a lot at the 4. The Jazz have not been very successful with Ingles as the 4 this year.

• The Jazz lost their 26th game that has been within 5 points with 5 minutes left. They are 27th in the NBA defensively in those circumstances and 27th in defensive rebounding. For the 2nd time in 10 days (Warriors) game the Jazz didn’t grab a defensive rebound that would have won the game.

• Rodney Hood was terrific v. San Antonio and the opposite tonight. He doesn’t go to the free throw so his nights are completely predicated on how he shoots the ball. At this stage of his career he has had as many good night as he has had bad nights. Hood still has more games this year under 9 points than he has over 19.

• Its about making shots. Shelvin Mack has a three to go up 10 last in the 4th and if he hits the game is over. Didn’t.

• Jazz guards were a combined 8 of 28 and 2 of 16 from three.

• Jazz fast breaks are a killer. Had a 3-1 got nothing and three other fast breaks that yielded nothing.

• Jazz have to win next 3 to secure a playoff without help.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Jazz take the best to the wire again

• Incredible basketball game. Such an impressive performance by the Jazz. The Spurs and the Warriors are two of the five greatest teams in the history of the game and the Jazz have taken both of them to the final possession.

• Nothing went the way this game should for the Jazz. They couldn’t hit threes, they were struggling offensively and they fell behind by 16 to open the 4th quarter. Lights out. The Spurs are 57-4 when they lead going to the 4th. Instead, the Jazz rallied behind Joe Ingles three point shooting and incredible performance by Rodney Hood.

• The Jazz defense is elite. The Spurs are the 3rd best offense in the NBA and the Jazz held the Spurs to 44% shooting and 88 points. The Jazz are dictating how games are played right now and it makes them very formidable.

• Rodney Hood’s 4th quarter was marvelous. He had 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists in the 4th quarter and was guarded by Kwahi Leonard for a lot of the quarter.

• The Jazz had two principals to the defensive game plan. Keep Parker out of the lane and avoid the duck in plays for Aldridge and Leonard. They did a fabulous job executing the plan. Aldridge had a big first quarter and then was very quiet the rest of the night and didn’t do a lot of work in the post. He has always struggled v. Gobert. Leonard was 5 of 14. Parker was 4 of 13. Incredible to keep those guys down.

• Offensively the Jazz were trying to get to the middle of the floor with switches and they did and gave Aldridge the business tonight. They were abusing him

• The Spurs got two huge threes late – Parker hit a three from the left corner over Gobert as the shot clock expired. The Spurs executed a play with 2:00 left perfectly and Kyle Anderson made a huge three. The Jazz missed a bunch of wide open threes in the 2nd and 3rd and the Spurs made those two.

• Jazz were on the wrong side of a 21-4 run from the 1st quarter to the 2nd quarter. This was not self-inflicted this was just missing shots. Chris Johnson had two wide open threes and Trey Lyles had one but they didn’t fall and the Spurs took advantage.

• Tim Duncan won his 1,000th game. Jordan didn’t play 1,000 games. Think this is the last time we see Tim Duncan is SLC. I would have rather honored his career.

• Shelvin Mack makes all the difference. He has settled this team and is a pro. He is comfortable in all settings and plays with a poise that we didn’t have at that position in the previous games against the Spurs.

• The final play by the Spurs was terrific. They put three guys on the left side of the floor and had Leonard on the right side. The guy defending the ball has to protect the pass across the paint. Hayward has to stay between Leonard and the basket and the inbound pass comes to Leonard who quickly turns shoots it with his incredible length over Hayward. I have no answer on any other way to guard this play.

• Manu Ginobili is awesome.

• The third quarter run by the Spurs was very self-inflicted. Joe Ingles grabs Manu on a fast break with the defense getting back and the Jazz in the penalty. This is giving away points. Rudy had a poor pass for one of his 4 turnovers. These guys are busting their butt and doing a great job but these little plays are tough when they happen together.

• Jazz didn’t run the fast break well tonight. The fast break is an elite athlete game and we don’t have a lot of elite athletes.

• Incredible offensive 4th quarter by the Jazz 33 points against the Spurs

• Super performance by the Jazz. They are playing great. Need to go get three of the next 4 and one of them needs to be Dallas.

• Final thought – I want the 6th seed and I want Quin Snyder v. Billy Donovan. Could you imagine this defensive team against the brilliantly talented Thunder and then if the Jazz won one in OKC the pressure on the Thunder with Durant future unclear could be incredible.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Good team win and High Quadrant 3

• This was a good team win tonight. A good team should take it to the Suns and that is exactly what the Jazz did tonight. The game was never in doubt. The Jazz dictated how the game was played.

• The Jazz have been a dominating defensive team since Favors returned to the lineup in late August and even better recently. The one area where the Jazz have not been as solid has been road defense but looking at how the Jazz played on the road at Minnesota and tonight and you can see the Jazz making huge strides at road defense.

• The second quarter was incredible defensively. The Suns scored a field goal at the 10:39 mark and then made two free throws at the 7:59 mark and didn’t make another shot until the :59 mark of the 2nd quarter. This span was over 19 possessions. The suns scored once in 1 in 19 possessions and missed 14 straight shots in the middle. This is dominance

• Jazz offense couldn’t make a shot early. Rodney Hood got wide open looks and they didn’t fall. The trailed after 1 but they were controlling how the game was played. It was just a question of getting the ball to go in the cylinder.

• Jazz hit 10 threes. The Jazz have won 10 of their last 13 and in all of the game have at least 8 three pointers.

• Jazz only had 10 turnovers tonight. Mack committed just 1. Ever since his meeting with Quin he has taken care of the ball at a very high level.

• Trey Lyles is an incredible offensive player. His off the bench scoring is changing games. His ability to stay on balance is what makes him elite. The added above the break three makes him potent and makes the Jazz offense completely different.

• Out of timeout tonight, the Jazz ran a 4/5 pick and roll with Lyles as the ball hander and Favors the big. Lyles told us after the game that Quin called the play and told Lyles to handle.

• Having a big guy that makes a high quadrant three is a game changer. It forces the other big out on the floor. it opens up many more driving lanes than a big shooting a corner 3 and it makes it impossible for a team to keep their big at the rim. Think of Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner in San Antonio or Chaning Frye. Those big have changed offensives because of the above the break 3. Add in the aspect that Lyles can not only make that shot, but that he can play off the bounce and he can pass and this is an incredibly special offensive player that is going to change the Jazz offensively.

• Incredible that Lyles was there at 12. This year’s draft class is going to be great, but in 5 years the Lyles pick is going to be talked about with the Hood and the Gobert picks.

• Derrick Favors really gamed it tonight. Everytime he check in the game he looked really stiff and as though the knee was giving him a hard time.

• On TIP OFF I talked about the bell curve of players. Gordon Hawyard’s bell curve is pretty awesome. He notched another 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assist night like it was nothing. He was the best player on the floor for periods of time

• Trevor Booker was a big impact tonight. Quin is using him terrifically right now.

• Exciting times for a Jazz fan. The team is getting better. Battling some big time names and teams in Dallas and Houston for a playoff spot while being the least experienced team in the NBA. How fun.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Solid win lead by the Defense

• Solid win without Favors for the Jazz tonight. The Jazz were a step off early in the night. The 50/50 balls were going to Minnesota, the defense just wasn’t as sharp early but by the end of the night the Jazz re-established who they are and ran away with the win.

• A huge part of the game plan was to keep the Wolves off the line and out of the paint. The Jazz held the Wolves to a season low free throw attempts and free throw makes.

• Wolves are one of the worst three point shooting teams and strangely don’t take them very often. In the first half tonight they hit 7 on 12 attempts. They were unable to maintain this outlier performance and in the 2nd half were 2 of 11

• Trey Lyles started in place of the injured Derrick Favors. Lyles had 17 points in the first half and scored in a completely different array of ways. He missed his opening shot but his supreme confidence carried him to a great first half.

• Jeff Withey got a little run tonight and played really well. He bothered Towns and protected the rim.

• Jazz defense continues to be great. They held the Wolves to 85 points a team that has been clicking well over 105 points a game since LaVine went to the starting lineup as a shooting guard. They held the Wolves to 44% and forced 15 turnovers. These are consistent with everything the Jazz have been doing defensively.

• In the first half 50/50 balls were all going to Minnesota in the 2nd half the Jazz got those plays.

• When the jazz hold opponents under 90 points they are 26-0.

• Only 2 of the last 12 opponents have scored 100 points on the Jazz and the Warriors wouldn’t have done it if the game hadn’t gone to overtime.

• Hood has linked 4 really strong game together, he was 7 of 10 tonight. Hayward was solid again with 22-5-3.

• Ever since Quin and Shelvin Mack sat down about the turnover issue he has kept them much more under control. He had 17 n 3 games and since then he has had 10 in 4 games. He added 5 assist tonight.

• Solid win. Keep beating the team the Jazz are supposed to and they make the playoffs.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Effort, Will, Free throws, awesome

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Incredible game. Amazing effort. So impressed by the Jazz game plan and how they were able to make the Warriors work and play the Jazz game. I also left incredibly impressed by the Warriors will to win. The effort and reaction by the Warriors late in this game is the signature of this team that is going to go down in history as the greatest ever if they win the championship

• On the final play of regulation with the game tied the Jazz were trying to get Steph Curry matched on Gordon Hayward. They brought Mack up to set the pick trying to get the Warriors to switch the pick. However, the Warriors had incredible communication on the play and when Mack started to the ball Draymond Green ran to defend the play leaving Lyles so that when the switch didn’t happen Mack ended up on Draymond Green. Green is so great defensively that it is not a mismatch. It is incredible that Green and Curry have the communication to make that play. The other aspect is you have to go late enough to make sure the Warriors don’t get another possession but when the Warriors blow the concept up there is no time to recover.

• On the final play for the Warriors Klay Thompson misses the three and the rebound bounds strangely on the sideline. Booker had the block out assignment and didn’t get contact with Livingston. Hayward might have been able to make a bigger play on the ball, but he was concerned about getting back to Barnes. Joe Ingles had run out on the shooter, Thompson, and proceeded to run to the front court and when the Warriors got the rebound he was no longer in the screen. So when the ball went back out Rodney Hood was stuck in between guarding both Steph Curry on the far side and Klay Thompson and he was in the middle guarding neither. Lots of things going on here but it is these winning plays where lots of things could have been a little different and won the game.

• Derrick Favors tweeked his knee early in the game and then when he got clobbered by Andrew Bogut going to the basket he re-injured the knee and was not able to return. The Jazz played the entire last part of the 3rd quarter and the entire 4th and overtime without Derrick. I thought the foul by Bogut was the definition of flagrant.

• Jazz missed 13 of 29 from the free throw line. The missed free throws are killer. Mack had 2 to win the game hit 1. Gordon missed two. Gobert got hack a gobert and missed both.

• I would love access to the NBA officials records. I am not sure if Kane Fitgerald is really bad or if I just have it in my head that he is not very good and therefore every time he makes a call that is wrong it reconfirms my belief and so I am further the stereotype in my head. The offensive foul on Gordon was bad. Draymond Green kept a ball alive for a Warriors possession with 2 feet standing out of bounds. These calls aren’t hard and he missed them. Maybe I am wrong, maybe he is a perfectly good official.

• Jazz defense was great tonight. They made Steph work all night. They were terrific executing the plan. The Warriors were out of their element for most of the night and the Jazz had them on the unnerved. The Warriors were playing a half court game. The Jazz were getting the defense set every possession. The Warriors were into their 3rd and 4th options on plays exactly as the Jazz wanted.

• The Jazz played crazy hard tonight. This team they are playing has a real chance to be the greatest ever. This was the second time they gave them a fight for their lives in this building.

• Gobert gives Curry trouble. He is bothered by his length both on switches and around the basket

• Draymond Green’s effort is incredible

• Re-watching the final 5 minutes of regulation on offense
Hayward hits a nice fadeaway over Green with 4:51 left
Steph fouls Gobert on an early pick and Gobert hits one of two free throws
Hayward gets the 1 on 1 on Curry and misses a fadeaway jumper
Jazz go through more regular set and Mack misses a tough runner on the left baseline
Hood brings it up with horns set. Slow to get into play nothing develops prayer 40 foot three by Hood
Hack a Gobert and he misses both
Hood drives the lane gets fouled, the Warriors broadcast agreed, no call turnover as ball goes out of bounds
Hayward hits a huge three on the Hayward/Hood pick the Warriors got caught up going under
Hayward turns it over trying to get it from Mack
Hayward goes 1 on 1 on Thompson, Curry cuts off the path, Hayward bouces to Mack who penetrates and misses floater in the lane
Mack misses one of the two free throws that would have secured the game.
Then the final play we talked about already

That sequence is not as bad as it felt when it happened. 12 possessions. 5 were success buckets or to the line, one bad call, a busted play, a turnover, a missed shot

• The Warriors are on a mission to get the record. The Jazz made them uncomfortable all night. Yet, on a back end of a back to back they battle and made every play they had to make. The Jazz were really really good but they just made a few mistakes and those mistakes are enough to keep the Warriors breathing and if they have breathe they find a way to win.

• Super night at the arena. What an atmosphere and what an effort.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Pure domination

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Great job by the Jazz on all fronts tonight. On the floor they were brilliant and the video tribute to Kobe was as well done as I have seen.

• Jazz ended this game immediately. A 11-2 run to start. Up by 18 at the end of 1. Jazz lead by 27 at the half and then cruised to the largest win in franchise history. 48 points. It was also the largest Lakers loss in franchise history.

• Rodney Hood stole the show tonight with a 30 point first half. He hit a franchise record 8 threes in the first half and had it rolling at an insane level. Hood went 11 of 13 in the first half for his 30 points. Lakers played bad defense early and Hood got a rhythm and then there was no stopping him.

• Kobe started face guarding Hood with a few minutes left in the first half. It was really absurd. It wasn’t basketball. He faced guarded Hood to the point where on a 2 on 1 fast break he guarded Hood allowing Mack to score an uncontested layup. They got in a battle in Hawaii. This seemed to be some carryover.

• Jazz set a franchise record with 17 three pointers tonight.

• The jazz defense has been terrific for a long time. 3rd best since Favors came back. Tonight was another example. They held the Lakers to 33% in the first half and 33% from three. At the end of the night the Lakers shot just 30.6%. I know the Lakers are awful but that is really awesome.

• Kobe was awful. He is a shadow. It’s hard to watch

• Favorite part of the night was AK telling me he just learned to ski and how much he loves it. Only 3 days and it is my favorite he said. This might not have surpassed when he went to break and I said Jazz up 47 and he said great number.

• Solid win. Just utter dominance of a poor team. Playoff push continues. Warriors in town

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Defense Defense Defense

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Jazz have been defensively elite for a while now and tonight they showed it again. The Jazz have been the 3rd best defense in the last 15 games and the 4th best since Favors returned. Tonight Minnesota came into the game scoring 109 pts a game since Feb 1st. The jazz held them to 84 points.

• Over the last 31 games the Wolves had been shooting 49% and had been over 50% in 15 of the last 31. Tonight they shot 38%.

• The Jazz had some very specific defensive game plans and they worked. Hayward unnerved Wiggins throughout the game. Wiggins wasn’t able to get to his go to moves and was forced to play in areas where he wasn’t as comfortable.

• The Wolves played 2OT the night before in Washington so they were not at their peak but the Jazz never gave them a chance to get comfortable. The Jazz started the defense early and never backed off and that is what you have to do when playing a team that is in a compromised situation.

• The key part of the game was when Ricky Rubio checked out. The Jazz were up one and by the time he came back in the game the Jazz were up 11. The story of the Wolves season is that they are positive with Rubio on the floor and negative -270 for the season which is hard to fathom. Until you look at tonight and Rubio was +7 and they were -16 when he was off the floor.

• Rodney Hood got rolling again tonight with a 7 for 11 and a few Hoodie Goodies in the paint. Minnesota is an awful defensive team so lets see if he can replicate it against some better teams.

• The Wolves are a free throw team not a three point team. The Jazz kept them off the free throw line for most of the night. By not being a three point team it meant they tried to attack the inside and Gobert and Favors dominated the early portions of the game. Gobert had a huge impact on the game in the 1st quarter.

• Favors hit some mid range jumpers after the Jazz struggled early to get the offense going. Favors was a beast on the pick and roll to the rim from the top and on the mid range jumper. 19 points.

• The Jazz and the Wolves opened the game each missing their first 6 shots and we went to the first time out with the Wolves ahead 4-0.

• Quin Snyder worked with Shelvin Mack at the shoot around today on the escape dribble and living for longer possessions rather than trying to have every possession end with his pass or his play. Tonight Mack was much better with the ball and didn’t get himself caught in the same predicaments he has been in the last few games. He had just 2 turnovers rather than the 17 he had over the last 3 games.

• TREY LYLES !!!!!!

• 2 more threes for Joe. His bench shooting coupled with Neto’s shooting has been really important. Jazz shot 6 for 11 off the bench from 3 tonight .

• Gordon worked his way though the game. He had 0 points at halftime. He then burst out for 11 of the first 14 points in the 4th quarter and finished with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists. The consistency is incredible .

• 3-2 on the 5 game swing. Huge step toward making the playoffs. Need to win the games we are favored to win the rest of the way – Lakers, Wolves, Suns, Clippers, Mavericks and Lakers. That gets us to 42 and probably in the 7th seed.

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN – Let’s go to Minnesota

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• On to Minnesota

• Minnesota will determine this 5 game road trip. If the Jazz win and go 3-2 that will be remarkable and the Jazz will be in good position to make the playoffs. If they fall in Minnesota then they have given one of the big wins back and they will need Dallas to fall in games where they aren’t favored or Dallas could get away before we see them on April 11th.

• OKC is really good. They blitzed the Jazz and the Jazz didn’t have a great deal of fight to get back from the deficit. OKC was impressive how they opened the first and third quarters.

• The Jazz are turning the ball over at an alarming rate. They are 30th in the league at taking care of the ball over the last 10 games. I know that there is no season long correlation between winning and turnovers. However, the turnovers are impacting the Jazz ability to defend. Moreover, the reason there is no correlation is because those teams that are high turnovers teams are usually getting some sort of dividend from the risk they are taking. It doesn’t feel like we are gaining that element of the turnovers.

• Some trends continued that need to be rectified. Both Gobert and Hood struggled early again. I don’t think it is a coincidence that these are two first time starters at game 72 and they are struggling. This is there first time through a season. Both of there bodies are probably wasted and they have no idea where to find the juice they had earlier in the year.

• Gobert had 2 fouls in 1:50 and 3 fouls in 4 minutes. Teams are aware of Gobert and being very physical with him. Steven Adams is a mammoth man and Rudy does not have a base to deal with him.

• Jazz did a decent job of staying in the game in the first quarter after getting blitzed early but the end of the 2nd quarter they wilted under the pressure and the Thunder ran away.

• Quin pulled the rip cord pretty early on this one knowing the importance of the other games coming.

• Trey Burke had 17 4th quarter points. Most by a Jazz player this year in a quarter.

• See you in Minnesota

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN — Remarkable

EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Incredible comeback win for the jazz. Down 18. Knocked completely out of their game in the first half. They understood 48 minutes and the value of effort and fought all the way back to win it at the end. Jazz lost the lead at 9-8 in the first quarter and didn’t regain it until mid-way through the 4th quarter.

• The Rockets have been one of the best teams in the NBA at closing games this year. They have won 25 games that were within 5 points with 5 minutes left. The Jazz on the other hand have lost 23 games that were within 5 minutes with 5 to play. Tonight the Jazz utterly outplayed the Rockets to close the game.

• Rodney Hood, had a tough night and then when it mattered most made the pass of the game. Jazz didn’t call a timeout and in a tie game ran what was supposed to be a 2/3 pick and roll likely trying to get a switch of Harden onto Gordon. When that didn’t materialize Hood aggressively went to the basket and dished to Favors. This is such a great play when put into the perspective of the game. Hood wasn’t passive. He didn’t try to pull up. He didn’t play scared and duck out of the play.

• Trevor Ariza was face guarding Gordon Hayward all night. Hayward has learned how to play through an entire games. He was knocked out of portions of the game but at the end of the night he finished with an incredible line 22-5-6 and was the best player on the floor in the final portion of the game. He demanded the game went his way

• Trevor Booker was terrific. He brought an energy but he also made plays. He always plays hard and always brings the team a level of confidence, but you also have to make plays. Tonight he made plays. He made passes, he was available for dunks. He defended and rebounded. He made plays and he brought his usual package of Trevor.

• Quin was really masterful tonight with player management. We all sit and watch and think we would play another guy here or there and use another guy in one way or another. I’ll be honest there is no chance I would have done what worked tonight. That is the feel a coach has and that was really masterful.

• Late in the game Quin put Gordon on Harden. Hood had been the primary assignment but for the final portions of the game it was Gordon guarding Harden and he caused him a ton of trouble. He forced a turnover. He made him give it up. On another play on a switch Mack got him to commit a 24 second violation

• How have I not mentioned Derrick. Beast mode.

• Quin didn’t call a timeout on the final play. The Jazz had talked about what they wanted on the final play in the previous 20 and he trusted the guys to make the right play and put the ball in their hands. Cool growth.

• Rockets opened the game hard trapping the Jazz on every pick and roll and every interchange it caused the Jazz a ton of problems. They forced turnovers, it accelerated what the Jazz were doing and it caused the Jazz to get knocked out of their rhythm. In turn they were turning it over, missing open shots and they were a mess. The Rockets had complete control of the game in the first half.

• The second half the Jazz offense started to make some plays and it got the Rockets into a half court game and then the Rockets offense slowed down and the Jazz were able to put their defensive claws into the Rockets. This game was a great example of how offense impacts defense.

• The defense was really very good all night. It kept the Jazz in the game. If being down 18 was really in the game.

• Ariza is a catch and shoot guy and the Jazz made him play a lot of the game on the bounce. Beverley is their best three point shooter and he never got going. When you start to take away those options it makes them very one dimensional

• Harden is really incredible. He is why the Rockets have been so great late in games and the Jazz handled it

• JB Bickerstaff runs some great out of timeout plays

• Huge win for the Jazz. Tremendous effort. Super growth for team and individuals and makes a big improvement on the Jazz playoff positioning.