Monday, April 23, 2012

News On The Horizon 4/23/2012

Atlantic 10 Remains Serious About Its Basketball Presence--Rush The Court Jazz outlast Orlando in OT to set up play-in game vs. Phoenix--Deseret News

Eventually, it was back-to-back 3-pointers by the Jazz's Gordon Hayward and Harris that helped Utah survive this big scare and pick up the big win.

Jazz once again 'refuse to lose'--Deseret News

Then with Jefferson, Millsap, Harris, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors each taking turns making huge contributions, the Jazz pulled away in overtime to take another giant step toward turning their postseason dream into a reality.

"We survived," said Hayward, who hit a huge 3-pointer in overtime to give the Jazz a 110-105 lead. "That's the best way to describe it.

"They knocked down a lot of shots, early especially, but we were able to come through late and get stops when we needed and get the win."

Yep, all part of that "refuse to lose" mentality.

Report card: Orland Magic vs. Utah Jazz--Deseret News

GUARDS: It certainly wasn't the most consistent effort from start to finish for Devin Harris and Gordon Hayward, but each played a huge role in saving the Jazz's victory. Harris provided one of the game's biggest plays when he blocked Jameer Nelson's shot at the end of the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. His 3-pointer with 37.9 seconds remaining sealed it for Utah. Hayward, who has played spectacularly for much of the month, hit a 3-pointer to make it 110-105 with 1:38 left in the game. That shot helped make up for his six turnovers. Nelson led Orlando with 23 points. J.J. Redick hit a key 3-pointer during Orlando's 16-0 run in the third quarter, but didn't score in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Grade: B-

Utah Jazz-Orlando Magic: Instant Analysis--Deseret News

Odds n’ Ends:
Gordon Hayward made a big trey in overtime, but had an uncharacteristic six turnovers.

Jazz roar back to outshoot Magic in 117-107 OT win--Salt Lake Tribune

"We survived," said Jazz forward Gordon Hayward, who drained a game-changing 3-pointer with 1 minute and 38 seconds left in OT that made it 110-105 Utah.

"They knocked down a lot of shots early. … But we were able to come through late and get stops when we needed to and get the win."

The Jazz outscored the Magic 16-6 in the extra period. Five Utah players recorded points during OT. And critical 3s by Hayward and Devin Harris erased the Magic’s perimeter-based attack, which saw a height-challenged Orlando club fire up 38 overall 3s and connect on 39.5 percent of them.

"That’s how they play, and we knew that going into the game," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.

NBA: 3-point shooting revs up Utah Jazz’s offense--Salt Lake Tribune

That, right there, is how the Utah Jazz offense has gone to another level in the past month. On consecutive possessions, Gordon Hayward and Devin Harris knocked home wide-open 3-point looks, blowing open their matchup with the Magic in overtime and leading the Jazz to a 117-107 win on Saturday night.

No longer is it prudent strategy to slap a simple zone on the Jazz, collapse on Jefferson and Paul Millsap and dare the guards to shoot from the perimeter. No longer is it easy to defend Harris and Hayward by slacking off and playing them to drive to the basket.

The Jazz have started to make the 3-pointer consistently. And that has made them more dangerous as they head into a matchup with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night that could propel them into the playoffs.

"It’s something that we knew we had to start doing," Hayward said. "We know that we have the ability to shoot the ball, and when we’re doing it well, the big men have more room to work with in the paint."

Truly, Utah’s resurgence from the perimeter has had a ripple effect. It started with Harris, who rediscovered his game and figured out how to be aggressive and run the offense at the same time. And it has spread to Hayward, who has been playing his best basketball of the season in the past month.

Gordon Monson: Is Kevin O’Connor building the Jazz into a title contender?--Salt Lake Tribune

It’s back out now, the Jazz having moved into a favorable situation where they can nourish that core of young players — Favors, Kanter, Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward, all 22 and under — mixed with a still-improving Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson, who are under contract for another year, and a list of useful role players, including second-chance vets such as Jamaal Tinsley and Josh Howard.

James, Heat win home finale over Houston, 97-88--Miami Herald

MIAMI -- LeBron James had 32 points and eight rebounds, Norris Cole added 16 points and the Miami Heat pulled away in the final minutes to beat Houston 97-88 on Sunday night and eliminate the Rockets from postseason contention.

Miami Heat tops the Houston Rockets, LeBron James makes case for MVP--Miami Herald

With Wade and Chris Bosh sitting out, the Heat fielded its 16th different starting lineup of the season with James starting alongside Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, James Jones and Dexter Pittman.
Cole finished with 16 points. Joel Anthony, who provided a nice lift off the bench, added 11 points and six rebounds. Miller finished with 11 points on 4 of 12 shooting.

Wade, Bosh, Chalmers out; LeBron plays vs. Rockets--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Forward LeBron James, who did not play Saturday against the Washington Wizards, will play in the regular-season home finale. Chalmers is a scratch because of the flu. He was replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Norris Cole.

Heat expect Chris Bosh back before playoffs--South Florida Sun Sentinel

Bosh was one of four players to miss Sunday's game. Center Ronny Turiaf was out for a seventh consecutive game with a strained hamstring while Mario Chalmers was sidelined with flu-like symptoms. Rookie Norris Cole started in his place.

LeBron James' 32 lift Heat over Rockets 97-88, with Wade, Bosh out--South Florida Sun Sentinel

For the seventh time in seven games, Spoelstra rolled out a different lineup, this time with James Jones starting in place of Dwyane Wade, Norris Cole in place of Mario Chalmers and Dexter Pittman in place of Chris Bosh.

Report: Cleveland State Offers John Hay's O'Field--Cleveland State Hoops

2012 target Matt Tiby decides--PantherU

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