Coming off of their 101-99 victory in Milwaukee, the Jazz were looking to pick up their 16th win of the season on Friday night. Brooklyn was trying to get their 19th win after being humiliated by the Clippers in LA, 123-84. This was the second game in a row that Dante Exum would start at PG in place of a healthy Trey Burke. Former Jazz point guard Deron Williams was not in the lineup for the Nets against his old team due to persisting ankle problems, as well as a fractured rib cartilage. Utah controlled the game from the beginning and never looked back.
The Jazz played a solid first quarter with Dante Exum (13 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast) filling the starting point guard position. He and Gordon Hayward (24 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl) both finished the first frame with team highs at 7 points. Enes Kanter (10 pts, 4 reb) even got involved in the up tempo game by throwing down a fast break dunk. After the first quarter, the Jazz led 25-21, looking impressive on both ends of the court. Exum looked confident in his new role as starting point guard. While he only finished with 4 assists, he passed the ball well to facilitate the offense.
In the second quarter, though, it was all Trey Burke (19 pts, 2 reb, 3 ast). Things really got going for the Jazz offensively when Burke joined the second unit. He was 4/5 from three, and scored 15 points in the second quarter. Hayward also finished the first half with 15 points. The entire team was blazing from beyond the three-point line, hitting 9/12 at the end of two. The offense was firing on all cylinders and the Jazz finished the half with 63 points. But it wasn’t just the offense, Utah held Brooklyn to 37 in the first half.
The pace in the third quarter was slower for the Jazz, who only scored 23 points. However, Utah played good defense on the Nets, who only scored 22. The Jazz cooled off in the third but managed to keep the Nets at a safe distance. Joe Ingles (16 pts, 5 ast, 1 reb) stood out all game, finishing with a career high in points.
The Jazz dominated the 4th, only allowing 14 points and scoring 27 of their own. The crowd even got their wish of a Jeremy Evans sighting off the bench. The fan favorite swatted a late shot into the fifth row with a few seconds left, preventing Brooklyn from reaching the 75-point mark.
The Jazz were very impressive in this game. During stretches they moved the ball cleanly and shot very effectively. They took Brooklyn out of their game from the onset and were unrelenting when things were going well offensively. But what was even more impressive was that they never allowed the Nets to go on a run when the offense wasn’t clicking. The Jazz were good on defense all night, keeping Brooklyn under 40% from the field. Trey Burke has been a very good sport in his new role. In the two games that Dante has started, the Jazz have been able to keep the offense going for longer stretches of time. Trey has provided a much needed spark for this team as a sixth man. We’ll see how things go as the season progresses, and if the Jazz have possibly found an effective backcourt rotation going forward. Utah improved to 16-28, while Brooklyn fell to 18-26. The next Jazz game will be at home on Monday January 26 against Boston.
Quin Snyder Postgame – http://espn700sports.com/espn700-interviews/jazz-vs-nets-1-24-2015-quin-snyder-postgame/
Trey Burke Postgame – http://espn700sports.com/espn700-interviews/jazz-vs-nets-1-24-15-trey-burke-postgame/
Gordon Hayward Postgame – http://espn700sports.com/espn700-interviews/jazz-vs-nets-1-24-15-gordon-hayward-postgame/