Sports Commentator Patrick Blake is host of the Blake’s Take show, airing weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio Southern Utah Sports Network – 96.7 FM 1450 AM – with live stream online at http://www.KZNUsports.com. Reporting from live TV broadcast.
ST. GEORGE – The Utah Jazz need to win out if they want to make the playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks are also fighting for a playoff seed; and coming off a loss the night before the game meant just as much to them as the Jazz and you could see it.
The Jazz and Mavs came out firing. The Jazz led by 1 at the break and by 9 going into the final quarter but could not hang on as the Mavs came storming back to force overtime.
In the first overtime period the Jazz jumped out to a 4-point lead – only to watch it slip away again on a Jason Terry jump shot, and a Dirk Nowitzki 3-point shot with 3 seconds remaining in the first overtime.
The second overtime was just as strange. With the game tied in the closing seconds, Jazz forward Paul Millsap drove the lane and never shot the ball. He was pushed out of bounds but the referee never called the foul, giving the ball back to the Mavs with a chance to win. Great defense by the Jazz helped force a turnover and Millsap threw up a half-court heave off the back of the rim and we were headed for the third overtime.
In the third OT, the Jazz were able to push the lead to 5 and hang on for the win, thanks to a big play from Al Jefferson who scored 28 points and grabbed 26 rebounds.
With so many Jazz injuries, minutes in a game like this started to fill up. The Jazz had four starters that played over 50 minutes in the game, while the other starter, DaMarre Carroll, played 45 minutes.
The Jazz bench is going to have to step up if the Jazz want to continue their run. The Jazz bench did not have one player in double figures and not one played over 18 minutes.
Gordan Hayward and Devin Harris each scored over 20 points as well, scoring 24 points and 23 points respectively. Carroll also added 15 points.
Millsap started the game 0-6 from the floor and did not score in the first half.
The Jazz are still in 10th place in the Western Conference standings with four games to play. The Mavs fall from sixth to seventh in the West.
Denver started the day in eighth place in the West, but jumped to sixth with a win over Houston. Houston fell from seventh to ninth, moving Phoenix from outside of the playoffs to the eighth and final spot.
The Jazz are now just a half-game back of the eighth and final playoff spot.
Looking at the standings:
Team Name Record Games Back
6. Denver 34-27 –
7. Dallas 34-28 –
8. Phoenix 32-29 –
9. Houston 32-29 0
10. Utah 32-30 ½
The Jazz will head to Portland to take on the Blazers tomorrow at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the Jazz began a three-game home stand to close out the season. The Jazz start with Orlando on Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
For more JAZZ talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on KZNU Sports website: www.kznusports.com
Twitter Hashtag: #UTAHJAZZ
Copyright 2012 St. George News.