The Jazz celebrated the follow-up to the Sundiata Game by hosting the Milwaukee Bucks and sitting Sundiata Gaines on the bench until the last minute of the game.
In the meantime, the rest of the team put on a nice show on the way to a 112-95 win. It’s hard to believe that just a week ago it felt like the Jazz were on the verge of giving up on the season. Tonight the team had the swagger of a contender and it rubbed off on CJ Miles, the man with the shaky psyche. Playing with the confidence that seemed to arrive with a primal scream after a dunk in the Cleveland game, Miles put up a team-high 19 point on 8-11 shooting.
“It was infectious,” Miles said. “Everybody got going. Everybody’s hyped up. Everybody’s playing hard. When we play defense like we did tonight, we’re hard to beat because we have so many athletes that can run the floor.”
After trailing by 18 in the first half, the Bucks made a run to start the third quarter to draw within five at 64-69. The game was never in question, however, and soon the Jazz lead returned to double digits and the Bucks folded. The only drama that remained was whether or not Jerry Sloan would allow Sundiata Gaines a chance to play and get some love from the crowd. Apparently game-winners over LeBron James and the Cavaliers aren’t enough to impress Sloan. Finally, Gaines checked into the game to a standing ovation with 58 seconds left and the outcome decided.
- Aside from hitting the second 3-pointer of his career off a steal-and-heave at the end of the third quarter, something doesn’t seem right with Paul Millsap. He’s missing loose balls and potential rebounds that in the past he would have ruthlessly corralled. I don’t know if it’s a hidden injury or something else, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen the Man’Sap we all know and love.
- Ronnie Price had several spectacular plays, including soaring for a block and then sprinting down court and hitting a three on the other end. The way he jumps out of the gym is obscene for a man his size.
- Carlos Delfino represented Argentina in this international affair with a game-high 28 points and six 3-pointers.
- Andrew Bogut was uninspired in his return to Utah. The only Australian center playing well in Utah lately is Luke Nevill for the Flash.
- The Jazz have the focus of the league again tomorrow in Denver against the Nuggets in the only game on national TV. Only two games are scheduled as the NFL playoffs have center stage.