There are two versions of Devin Harris.
One is passive. The next-to-last option in the Jazz’s limited offense. More dribble and pass than fire and attack. Sometimes burned by smaller, quicker opponents. Sometimes a shell of the point guard who guided Dallas to the NBA Finals in 2006 and earned an All-Star selection with New Jersey in 2009.
Then there’s the real Harris. Still fiery. Still explosive. A top-10 NBA point guard on his best night. A fast, fearless attacker unafraid to draw contact. Even less hesitant to suddenly pull up in transition, then release and drill a game-changing 3-pointer when his struggling team needs it more than ever.
The Jazz have seen the best of Harris during three consecutive games. He poured in a game-high 25 points Monday during Utah’s 91-84 victory against the San Antonio Spurs. The eight-year veteran drained 3 of 7 3-pointers overall, and scored 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting — including 2 of 3 beyond the arc — during a fourth quarter that saw the Jazz outscore San Antonio 27-16.
“Let’s not talk about it,” Harris said. “Let’s just keep it moving, and hopefully they’ll keep going in.”
Since returning last Friday from a sprained left ankle, Harris has averaged 23.6 points on 46.5 percent shooting in three contests. Even more staggering for a player who was outplayed by backup Earl Watson at the start of the season: Harris is shooting 50 percent (11 of 22) behind the 3-point line during his burn.
“I can’t explain why I’m hitting ’em now,” Harris said. “But when you’re dependent on them the most, that means they’re coming around.”
Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin sees a proud point guard who’s finally taking command. Harris’ legs are stronger, his form and arc have improved, and he’s firing with pure confidence.
Consistent pregame work with teammate Gordon Hayward and assistant coach Jeff Hornacek has refocused Harris’ aim.
So did a chat with his father.
“Don’t tell him that, though, cause he’ll hear that,” Harris said.
With eight games left in Utah’s up-and-down season, the other big name in the Deron Williams trade is finally making a name for himself in Jazzland.
“He knows what he has to do,” Utah forward Paul Millsap said. “We’re limited guys. A veteran guy like that, he knows exactly what to do. We expect him to show up.”
Devin Harris’ last three games:
Date Opp FG 3pt Pts
Mon Spurs, W 7-17 3-7 25
Sun Spurs, L 5-13 3-7 18
Fri Warriors, W 8-13 5-8 28