I don’t plan to write after every game. Let’s face it, that’s a lot of game recaps and you can find them all over the interweb anyway. But last night, I watched a game that was truly entertaining and really almost a throwback to the way it used to be played. The Utah Jazz hosted the Los Angeles Lakers and the game was entertaining, despite the ultimate outcome.
Yesterday, I wrote my first “Utah Jazz Weekly Preview” as a new segment for our blog and I wrote that I felt this game would be close throughout with the Lakers eventually winning by less than double digits. The Lakers just have a way of “owning” the Jazz but this Utah team was riding a wave of confidence that hasn’t been seen in this team in some time and I felt it would be close.
And I was right. Boy, was I right! What a game. Millsap had 29 points and 9 rebounds. Josh Howard had 18 points and 4 rebounds. Raja Bell didn’t have staggering numbers but most impressively was the guy the Jazz need in the stopper. The Jazz limited the Lakers to only 8 offensive rebounds while snatching up 10 of their own and matched the league-leading Lakers in total rebounds.
Ultimately, it came down to Kobe having a great scoring night for the second night in a row. When he scores two-thirds of the made buckets for the team, gets to the free throw line 11 times (he was perfect at the charity stripe), and gets ticky-tacky fouls called his way, the Lakers are going to win.
Josh Howard is quickly becoming my favorite player on this team. Gordon Hayward needs to be more assertive and he really shouldn’t be taking the drive at the end of the OT when Howard and Millsap had been rolling (though Kobe praised him as being “high on him” in the post-game interviews.) This team isn’t what we watched through the first few games of the season. They are playing more as a unit and not individuals. Coach Ty Corbin is doing as good of a job as any head coach in the league with this squad. Sure, the 5-game winning streak came to a close last night, but did any of you really expect to be on a 5-game winning streak? Did any of you really expect to beat the Lakers? It’s not the end of the world because this team is doing so much better than we expected from the onset.
When Matt Harpring officially welcomed Kobe Bryant to “Swat Lake City!” Officially the best new tag line of 2012.