November 20, 2009 -
For the first time in the 21st century, the Jazz actually won a game in San Antonio. I don’t even care that Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker both missed the game to injury. There is no asterisk on this game. It’s not like the Jazz weren’t depleted as well. Although Williams was back with the team (he returned Wednesday against the Raptors), Utah was without Mehmet Okur in addition to the already injured list of Korver, Miles, Price, and Harpring. Regardless, the Jazz won 90-83 to end a ten-year drought. Utah also beat Toronto on Wednesday, meaning the Jazz now have their first winning streak of the season.
Game ball goes to: Deron Williams. He returned without missing a beat, averaging 20.5 points (16 of 31 shooting including 5 of 8 from behind the arc), 9.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 1 steal. As good as Maynor has been, it was still nice to have DWill back.
Stat of the game(s): The Jazz had lost 23 consecutive games in San Antonio prior to Thursday’s win. Their last victory came on February 28, 1999.
Highlight: Despite struggling through the first 3 quarters, Carlos Boozer came alive in the 4th period, scoring a number of key baskets down the stretch to help the Jazz hold off the Spurs.
Lowlight: Mehmet Okur missed both games with flu-like symptoms. The Jazz just can’t get healthy.
Other items of note:
- Utah’s starting lineup the last time they won in San Antonio featured John Stockton, Karl Malone, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell, and Greg Ostertag.
- Paul Millsap continued his recent strong play. He was a key factor in the victory against the Spurs, scoring 20 points off the bench on 8 of 12 shooting.
- Eric Maynor had another outstanding game against Toronto and played the entire 4th quarter paired in the backcourt with Williams. The experiment worked well, as the Jazz outscored the Raptors 26-16 in the period to put the game away. Maynor finished with 15 points and 6 assists in 23 minutes.
- The Jazz seem to have gotten past their early problem with 4th quarter meltdowns. They have done a nice job closing out the past 4 games, either by protecting / extending a lead (Philly, Toronto, San Antonio) or closing a gap to make a game competitive (Cleveland).
- Utah only dressed 9 players again against Toronto and San Antonio, making 4 consecutive games with less than 10 players available.