The Jazz have endured injuries and droughts. The lineups often have been piecemeal and, at times, it’s felt as though circumstances forced Tyrone Corbin to insert players like picking teams on the playground.
But while it seemed the Jazz’s third-year coach already tried and trusted every lineup imaginable, he said Monday before his team’s 100-94 win over the Dallas Mavericks, “I think we’ve got a few more in the bag.”
But how far did he have to reach to come up with this one?
Corbin forsook logic, benched both of his traditional point guards and used a ball-handling trio of Gordon Hayward, Randy Foye and Alec Burks for the final 5 minutes, 59 seconds in front of 18,600 at EnergySolutions Arena. In that time, the Jazz went on a 13-0 run in which the they turned an 86-80 deficit into a 93-86 advantage.
“We’ve always thought about it,” Corbin said, “and found the right time to do it.”
Add in some tenacious defense and timely shooting from Al Jefferson, and the Jazz — don’t say it too loudly — found a winning recipe.
“I thought we were physical with them,” Hayward said. “They’re a team with a lot of talent, a lot of scorers. You can’t let them have their way, can’t let them get going.”
With the Jazz facing a three-game road trip, Hayward played his best game of the season, scoring a season-high 27 points while adding 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks a steal and avoided committing any turnovers. He made 4 of 5 3-point attempts, including one with 2:19 left to cap the Jazz’s big, momentum-turning run.
“He had just a great flowing game on both ends for us tonight,” Corbin said.
Jefferson recorded another double-double, his 16th, with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Burks added a season-high 13 points in his first chance to close a game.
“It’s a long time coming,” Burks said. “Beginning of the year I wasn’t even playing. Now to be playing in the fourth, it’s just a great feeling that hard work pays off.”
And while Burks can be credited for his execution on a lot of plays, even he had to be feeling lucky after he picked up a loose ball and buried a 26-foot 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 4:35 left in the game to tie it at 86-86.Next Page »