Gordon Hayward couldn’t have come closer to the Utah Jazz’s first triple-double in over six years.
Hayward finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists Wednesday night, helping the Jazz roll to a 109-86 victory over Phoenix at EnergySolutions Arena.
A closer look
» Gordon Hayward just misses a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a 109-86 victory over Phoenix.
Hayward’s bid for the first triple-double of his career ended with 6:15 remaining in the game, when coach Tyrone Corbin took him out for the final time.
As it stands, Carlos Boozer remains the last Jazz player to record a triple-double. He had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against Seattle on Feb. 13, 2008. After the game, Hayward understood why Corbin subbed for him with Utah owning a 97-75 lead.
"It was close," he said. "But it didn’t work out so ... I’m just happy we got the win."
Hayward knew he was one assist a triple-double.
"All my teammates said, ‘Get one more,’" he said. "So I knew. But it was one of those things where it was a blowout game, we had the lead and the win [and] you don’t want to risk anything."
That’s exactly what Corbin was thinking: "I was trying to let him get the last one. But I didn’t want to take a chance with him. He was good about it."
Hayward finished playing 37 minutes -- nine more than any teammate. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds with 7:45 left, when his pass led to a Diante Garrett three-pointer.
It was Hayward’s ninth assist and Corbin kept him on the floor for three more offensive possessions.
The first one ended when Hayward missed a three-pointer he took to beat the 24-second clock. The second ended up when Garrett committed a turnover.
The third ended on Alec Burks’ drive to the basket for a layup.
When Utah center Enes Kanter’s foul on the other end of the floor stopped play, Corbin sent Trey Burke into the game for Hayward.
Veteran Richard Jefferson joked that, as a former teammate of Jason Kidd, he knows the secrets of how a player secures a triple-double.
Kidd, now the coach of the Brooklyn Nets, finished his career with 107 triple-doubles.
"I don’t know what [Hayward] is doing," Jefferson said. "I’ve fallen one rebound a couple times short. [But] one assist? I’m going to get that assist. ...
"You’ve got teach him the tricks of the trade: ‘Clear everybody out. I need one assist. You all just shoot anytime I throw it to you. If we get an offensive rebound, fine. Get me the ball and I’ll throw it right back to you and you shoot it again.’ "
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