Summary: The Jazz hold off the Lakers for a 102-100 win. Joe Ingles hit the game-winning three and had two key defensive stops late in the game. Hayward’s 31 carried the Jazz throughout the game.
· If you look beyond the Lakers’ 10-23 record, you will realize this is a very good win. First, you don’t beat teams four times in a season very often, and the Jazz now have a 3-0 season series advantage on the Lakers. Two of the Jazz’s main cogs — Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors — were way off their games. Then, you add that the team was without George Hill, Alec Burks and Dante Exum. That is a hard game to win and the Jazz got it.
· The depth that Dennis Lindsey added to this team in the offseason won this game. Boris Diaw had a brilliant first half of the game. For a portion of the game, Quin turned the offense over to Joe Johnson, and then down the stretch Joe Ingles was the hero on both sides of the ball.
· None of this is possible without a brilliant night from Gordon Hayward. He finished with 31 points, 9 rebounds and lifted the team for most of the night until he got some help.
· The game was tied at 99 with 56.5 seconds left and the Lakers isolated Lou Williams on the right side of the floor with the shot clock winding down, and Joe Ingles had the defensive assignment. He denied his Williams’ hand and forced him to the right, and Lou never got a look. Instead, he threw up a shot that went off the side of the glass.
· The Jazz came back with a quick-hitter. Just 11 seconds into the possession, Joe Johnson set a great pick for Joe Ingles, who flared to the corner. Julius Randle didn’t help out, Ingles was open for the three and buried it. The right corner is his sweet spot. Jazz led it 102-99 and wouldn’t relinquish the lead.
· After the Lakers got one free throw from Randle, Rudy Gobert missed both and the Lakers had a chance to tie with the score at 102-100. The play was for Lou Williams, but he said that Ingles was facing-guarding him and denied him the ball. Russell came off a double pick to his right and Ingles switched out on Russell and forced him into a bad look three that was an air-ball.
· The play that is being forgotten is the Rudy Gobert tip-in and follow with 1:00 left after a Hayward missed a three with the game tied at 99. Gobert had his 11th straight double-double and 17th in 20 games.
· Quin really used his bench well tonight. He didn’t play Rodney and Favors late because they simply weren’t playing well enough. There are going to be lots of tough calls when this team gets healthy, and tonight Quin showed he is going to play who is playing well.
· Lyles had one of his most aggressive defense and hustle games I have seen from him. He took only one shot in 13 minutes. He grabbed six rebounds.
· The Jazz ran a lot of offense out of the post with Diaw and Lyles getting the ball down low, then looking to distribute.
· Raul Neto’s solid 13 minutes were vital.
· Julius Randle was outstanding. He attacked Gobert late in the game, going right into his body, and was able to score. Randle’s work on the glass dominated the first half. He has the ability to handle and play make a little. He looks much improved in what is turning out to be a questionable draft.
· The Jazz’s bench shot 17 of 33 from the field and 6 of 14 from three.
· The Jazz are negative for the season when Hayward and Gobert are off the floor. This is an area that needs to improve.
· When Hayward went to the bench in the fourth quarter, Joe Johnson was huge for the Jazz.
· The Jazz committed 19 turnovers in the first three quarters and one in the fourth.
It was a cool moment to end the night Joe Ingles embraced Marcelo Huertas — Joe’s teammate in Barcelona, where Joe lost a love for the game and almost quit. Huertas was the one who kept him going through that stretch, and to have Huertas see the greatest night of Joe’s career on the NBA stage is cool symmetry.