It was a laugher in Salt Lake City on Saturday night as the Jazz cruised to a big 116-83 win over the pathetic Nets.
“It looked like we were having a lot of fun playing together tonight,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. “We were trying to help each other out defensively. We also passed the basketball and that makes everybody happier.”
The Jazz are seven games above .500 for the first time this season at 25-18 and have surged from outside the playoff bubble to sixth in the Western Conference.
“If we can continue to finish games, hopefully we can climb the ladder a little bit in the West,” Boozer said.
The game even turned into a beat-down of historic proportion. The Jazz flirted with 90% shooting in the first quarter and ended up with the largest margin of victory (33 points) against the woeful Nets, who tied the record for worst start in league history with only 3 wins and 40 losses. The Nets are so bad that teams actually get motivated to play, rather than having the luxury of sneaking up on teams that take them for granted.
It took having a 31 point lead to start the fourth quarter for Jazz rookie Sundiata Gaines to finally see the court. The crowd showed their appreciation for the new folk hero by giving him a standing ovation. It really is amazing how his big shot may have bought him a roster spot for the rest of the season, but not a chance to get more playing time. The Jazz have decided (unofficially at this point) to pick up Gaine’s contract for the rest of the season after his second 10 day contract expires on Sunday. He’ll make a pro-rated portion of about $450,00 by sticking with the Jazz instead of about 20,000 that he would have made for the season in the D-League. Nice work, if you can get it. Congratulations to Sundiata Gaines!