Utah Jazz Lose Controversial Game To Miami Heat; 110-111

December 1st, 2016 | by Spencer Wixom
Melissa Majchrzak NBAE/GettyImages

Melissa Majchrzak NBAE/GettyImages

The Bad News Bears struck early Thursday afternoon as the Utah Jazz learned that not only would they be with out Alec Burks and Derrick Favors against the Miami Heat that evening, but starters George Hill and Rodney Hood would also sit out.


In the end the Jazz started their 11th starting lineup in 20 games with Dante Exum, Gordon Hayward, Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw, and Rudy Gobert.  The Jazz  kept it close through the first period and started the second quarter with their biggest lead of the night, four points.  However in that same quarter the Jazz lacked energy, particularly on the defensive end and at point found themselves facing a 14 point deficit.

With 10:46 left in the game the Jazz were looking at a 12-point disadvantage.  Back-to-back Joe Ingles threes brought them back into the game, setting up a nail-biter of a fourth quarter where both teams had guys step up and make big plays.  Raul Neto came in and hit his second three of the season, Rudy Gobert had a huge block, and Shelvin Mack had a big steal.

In the end the game all came down to one play.  The Jazz had the ball with 3.9 seconds left, down 110-111.  The play was controversial for a couple reasons.  First, prior to the final play was a shot clock violation that went uncalled.  As Schuhmann notes, if the referees had reviewed the clock, the Jazz would have had 5.2 seconds instead of 3.9 and Gobert’s tip-in would have counted.

Secondly, the play included multiple potential fouls that went uncalled.  It is obviously hard to expect a referee to make a call on one of those in that situation, but I imagine at least one will appear in the Last Two Minute Report that NBA Officials release the day after a game highlighting correct and incorrect calls from each close game’s final minutes.

The Jazz ended up having a very good offensive outing with a offensive rating of 129.4, but they had a horrendous defensive rating of 130.6.  The Heat shot 51.2% overall, 42.1% from three, and 55.2% inside the paint.  While it was one of the worst defensive outings we have seen from the Jazz this season, it’s hard to have expected much more when missing three starters.

Game MVP

Gordon Hayward

32 Points, 3 Rebounds, 7 Assists, 2 Steals,  12-22 FG, 3-7 3P, 40 Min.

With three starters out, Hayward stepped up big time and did a little bit of everything.  He was the primary facilitator and took more than twice the shots as anyone else on the team while playing 40 of the 48 minutes.  The Jazz may have lost, but this was not because of Hayward.  He flat out balled Thursday night!


Play Of The Game

Playoff Impact

At FiveThirtyEighty.com this loss cost the Jazz two wins in the projections, as they fell from 52 to 50 wins.  This was primarily due to the fact that the Jazz had an 89% chance to win this game, which must not have taken into account the injuries to Hill and Hood as beating any team without three of your starters is difficult. Fifty wins still seems like an achievable goal, even with this loss, but the Jazz need to get healthy.  According to FiveThiryEight that would put the Jazz in fourth place in the West, tied with the Houston Rockets.

Spencer Wixom

Spencer Wixom

Spencer graduated from the University of Utah and works in commercial real estate. Since the first time he saw Stockton dish to Malone, Spencer has had a passion for the Utah Jazz and the NBA. When he isn’t writing about the Jazz, Spencer spends time with his wife and daughter and cheers for the Seattle Seahawks.
Spencer Wixom
Spencer Wixom

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