What a change seven days can make in the NBA. One week ago, the Utah Jazz were mired in a horrible stretch that saw them dropping 12 of 15 games. One week later, the same Utah Jazz finished an undefeated week and now find themselves the eighth seed in the playoffs.
Pitted against their stiffest competition of the week, the Jazz defeated the 42-30 Brooklyn Nets 116-107. Thanks to great passing, spirited hustle and exceptional outside shooting, Utah put on what could have been its most entertaining performance of the season. The intensity was there from the get-go — at least offensively — and the Jazz saw it through.
The credit for Utah’s win has to start with the scorching hot hand of shooting guard Randy Foye. It was simply one of the most impressive shooting nights in Jazz history. Last month, Foye set the team’s single-season record for made three-pointers in a season and decided Saturday night to claim some of the single game high marks as well.
In the span of six third-quarter minutes, Foye nailed five three pointers, tying a franchise record for most successful treys in a quarter. He then added two more in the fourth quarter to help set the team record for a half, while also tying current assistant coach Jeff Hornacek’s single game high of eight.
Most importantly, these trifectas were integral in giving Utah a solid lead, as well as helping maintain the advantage down the stretch. Foye finished the game with 26 points on a stellar 8-9 shooting from the outside.
Beyond Foye’s historic night, there were many others who contributed to the win while producing some noteworthy statistics.
— Paul Millsap doled out a career-high nine assists, seven of which came in the first half.
— Al Jefferson and Mo Williams each chipped in 20 big points, combining to go 16 of 27 from the floor.
— Gordon Hayward did his best Andrei Kirilenko impersonation, recording eight points, six assists, three highlight reel shot blocks, three steals and two rebounds. He now has 20 assists over the past three outings.
— With 13 points and nine rebounds, big man Derrick Favors is averaging 11.7 points and 10.7 rebounds the past three games.
— Former Utah point guard Deron Williams had a typical strong game, with 21 points and 11 assists. His partner-in-crime, All-Star center Brook Lopez, was especially impressive with 27 points and four blocked shots.
— Nets forward Gerald Wallace, who was acquired in the trade that sent to the Portland Trail Blazers the pick that resulted in Damian Lillard, had two points Saturday evening.
— Utah forward Marvin Williams also stood out, scoring 14 points in just 21 minutes. In the crucial fourth quarter, he scored six straight points, most of which came on improbable makes.
David Smith provides instant analysis for Deseret News' Utah Jazz coverage. He works for LDS Philanthropies and also blogs for the Utah Jazz 360 website. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at davidjsmith1232.