NBA: DeMarre Carroll gives Jazz a lift in win over Miami
Jazz forward DeMarre Carroll averages five points a game this season.
Don't tell Miami.
Carroll scored 12 points, including seven in a two-minute span of the first quarter, to help Utah overcome a slow start during an eventual 104-97 victory over the Heat on Monday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
"Just being aggressive," Carroll said. "Lately, I've spent a lot of time in the gym at night and I just told myself, 'I've been shooting the ball every night and it goes in. Why not get in the game and do the same thing?'"
Miami built an early 16-8 lead, after converting seven of its first 10 possessions.
Carroll entered with 4:24 left in the opening quarter and the Jazz trailing, 18-15. He quickly converted a three-point play, scored at the rim and knocked down a 20-footer as the shot clock expired.
With Carroll leading the way, Utah turned the eight-point deficit into a 30-25 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Jazz never trailed again.
"He's a strong, strong guy," said coach Tyrone Corbin. "... He can make plays for himself or other guys on the team."
Said Carroll: "I just tried to be aggressive. ... I tried to make my defense lead to my offense, and my teammates were finding me. They had faith in me. And I was just knocking down the shots."
Defensively, Corbin thought Carroll made a difference against LeBron James. He didn't stop the Miami All-Star, who scored 10 points in the opening quarter and finished with 32. But Carroll made him work for his position and his points.
"He was aggressive," Corbin said. "He was up on Lebron, mostly. He kept his hands in close to him. You're not going to stop a guy like LeBron. All you're going to do is make him work a little harder and I thought DeMarre did a good job of giving him different looks."
When it was suggested to Carroll that he did not look intimidated by James, he smiled.
"No, no, no," Carroll said. "He puts his shoes on just like I put on mine. That's part of me how I was brought up, being a junkyard dog. Just being a blue-collar guy. ... I wanted to make it a grimy game for him and I think that's what I did."
Carroll added five points in the first six minutes of the second quarter, when the Jazz opened a 48-31 lead.
"He changes the energy and intensity of the game when he goes in," teammate Gordon Hayward said.