Posted by: TACOREV on March 6th, 2013The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz squander one away during the final minutes in Cleveland (21-40, 12-18 home).
Kyrie Irving posted a 20/10/7 game as the Cavs finished the game on a 10-1 run over the final two minutes. Tristan Thompson and Wayne Ellington each scored 16 while Alonzo Gee had 15, with Marreese Speights adding 14 & 7 and C.J. Miles scoring all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter.
Hayward led the Jazz with 25 & 7 with three steals, but did have one crucial turnover late in the game. Kanter finished with 17 & 7, Millsap recorded 16 & 8, and Burks scored 14. After starting off 0-for-6, Foye hit three 3-pointers in the third, finishing with 11 points. Favors only scored six points, but was a difference maker on defense, blocking four shots and grabbing 12 boards.
Mo’s return was far from extraordinary (though anything more than “zero points” is an improvement at our PG position), posting 8 & 6 on 3-of-12 shooting. His go-ahead layup in the final seconds was halfway down before popping out.
The newly benched Watson and Marvin did their usual nothing, combining for zero points in 21 minutes. Just benching these two isn’t enough. They need DNP’s because neither is producing anything — literally, nothing!
There’s no reason we need a 10-man rotation anyway. Just get those two out for good, eliminating 21 completely wasted minutes, and cut it down to an eight-man rotation.
What lost this game, ultimately, was Kanter not being in alongside Favors. I love Millsap, but if Corbin doesn’t get over his veteran obsession, we are going to keep losing games we should have won. Kanter was having yet another great game, and Favors was a beast on the defensive end. All Millsap did in the fourth quarter was get called for travelling, foul twice, make two free throws, and get blocked once… by C.J. Miles. Millsap was not the defensive presence that Kanter was, which is what you need on the floor when protecting a lead.
Also, Burks was playing some solid D on Irving, and Corbin pulled Burks as well with four minutes left. After that, Irving scored eight of his 20 points — nearly half, in the final 3:55. But of course, those veterans Foye and Mo (who’s returning from injury after three months!) can’t not be in the game!
At 32-29, the Jazz are barely holding onto the 8th spot in the West, just a game and a half ahead of the Hated Lakers… who came back to erase a 25-point deficit and beat the Pelicans tonight.
Next up is the Bulls on Friday for part three of this four-game road trip.
Jazz player of the game: Enes Kanter
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