I watched most of the game last night, and it seemed to be a carbon copy of the losses the Jazz have been experiencing lately. They led for most of the game, then in the fourth quarter Dallas came back and cut the lead to four with three minutes left in the game. Dirk started hitting 3-pointers and I steadied myself for another late-game letdown.
But this time was different. The Jazz got rebounds, played defense, deflected passes. Boozer made a couple big shots late and the Jazz managed to pull away.
Factors in the Jazz win:
- Home game. Utah plays a lot better at home. They shot 50% from the field and 20-26 at the free-throw line, which is about average for them in Salt Lake.
- Andrei had a good game; 17 points, five assists, four rebounds and three steals. He shot 6-6 from the free-throw line.
- Ronnie Brewer chipped in 15 points and four steals in an efficient performance.
- And finally, Collins played only four minutes, recording one foul.
The Jazz play next at the Lakers on Friday. This game worries me. I watched L.A. beat the Suns on Christmas, and they looked really really good. Bynum is coming along, scoring 28 points and pulling down 12 boards in a very Dwight Howard-esque line. Kobe was Kobe, scoring 38, but the rest of the supporting cast was very efficient. Ariza, Fisher, Odom and Farmar all had good games.
If the Jazz can somehow stop Bynum down low (how? I have no idea), and Brewer can do a decent job slowing Kobe down, the Jazz will win.