Jazz 98 – Hornets 90

February 18th, 2010 | by Spencer Hall

Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

ESPN Recap

Due to a little bit of failure-to-set-the-DVR-itis and a chronic case of League-pass-annoyingly-blacks-out-local-games-ia, I was unable to watch this game. I did, however, sit next to longtime Jazz assistant Gordon Chiesa, now a scout for the Memphis Grizzlies, at the Utah Flash game and asked his opinion on the Jazz as currently assembled. He was clearly impressed, and was emphatic that the Jazz are legitimate title contenders this year.

The story of the game was the strong performance from Paul Millsap. From the AP story:

Millsap hit 11 of 13 shots in a 24-point performance that led Utah past the New Orleans Hornets, 98-90 on Wednesday night for the Jazz’s 15th victory in 17 games.

“I’m trying to attack a little bit more. I think I was a little timid earlier in the season,” Millsap said. “I just felt comfortable out there and when you get that type of confidence, the rim looks real big.”

Millsap, a reserve, came in averaging 11.4 points but had scored 20 in his previous outing, a victory at Houston in the last game before the All-star break. Against the Hornets, he was opportunistic inside, hitting a couple putbacks and three layups. There was more to his game than that, though; he hit six jumpers from between 13 and 17 feet, earning 33:30 in playing time off the bench.

“When Paul is given a lot of minutes, he’s always produced,” said Jazz point guard Deron Williams, who had 16 points and 10 assists. “It’s on coach to find him some time to get him out there. If it’s Paul’s night, you’ve got to ride with him.”

Carlos Boozer scored six of his 16 points in the last 3:06, helping Utah pull away after a 3-pointer by New Orleans’ James Posey had tied it at 85. Boozer also had 15 rebounds, and Mehmet Okur added 10 points for the Jazz, who shot 54 percent (38 of 70).

Up next, the streaking Jazz head to the Bay Area for a matchup on Friday with the Bakersfield Jam North, AKA the Golden State Warriors.

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Notes:

  • So this is what it feels like to be .500 on the road. The win moves the Jazz to 12-12 away from home, with the best road record this late in the year since Jeff Hornacek retired in 1999.
  • With the rest of the league feasting on the fire sale put on by the Washington Wizards ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, the Jazz appear to be set on keeping the team intact. Carlos Boozer was the man most likely to be traded but his strong play seems to have made the front office believe they can make a run with this cast, and I agree. I’m also looking forward to the Jazz keeping their first round pick from the Knicks, if only to make the Draft Lottery exciting.
  • The green Hardwood Classics throwback jerseys worn by the Jazz have become somewhat of a lucky charm, especially after being immortalized as part of the Sundiata Gaines game against the Cavs. The Jazz will wear the green three more times, with the Rockets, Pesky Timberwolves, and Raptors scheduled as victims.
Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
Spencer Hall
Spencer Hall

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One Comment

  1. Clint Peterson says:

    Gordie knows the game well. His comments should excite Jazz fans!

    Funny how so many have been saying the Jazz need Hornacek 2.0 to contend. The current road record would indicate otherwise…

    A final note on Millsap: In the postgame he mentioned how he and Boozer have each others backs. This should quiet for good the detractors who constantly call out Carlos for chemistry reasons.This Jazz team is as unified as any ever has been, and have a common goal. Let the Jazz train roll!

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