Gordon Hayward's buzzer-beater extends Jazz win streak to seven
Tony Gutierrez, AP
DALLAS — In his six NBA seasons, Gordon Hayward had never won a game in Dallas.
The Utah Jazz hadn’t strung together a seven-game winning streak in that span, either.
That all changed in dramatic fashion Tuesday night.
With time running out in overtime, Hayward lost his defender, 6-foot-1 Raymond Felton, in a pick, raced around the perimeter to his left with the ball, stepped back to get some space between himself and 6-foot-11 Zaza Pachulia and then unleashed a perfect-form jumper just before the buzzer sounded.
Game and drought over.
A celebratory mosh pit in front of the Jazz bench followed, after Utah extended its longest winning streak since 2010, thanks to the 121-119 victory.
“I’m so happy right now,” a beaming Hayward said. “Derrick (Favors) and I have never had a win in Dallas. Just a great win for us.”
Utah hadn’t beaten the Mavericks in the American Airlines Center since Jan. 9, 2010, when — how’s this for a coincidence? — Deron Williams was the Jazz’s star player.
Since then, the Jazz had lost 10 straight in Dallas and, more recently, dropped nine of 10 overall to Dirk Nowitzki & Co.
In the first half, it appeared that the same old Jazz were going to suffer the same old type of loss. The Mavericks lit up the arena from deep, hitting 6 of 12 3-pointers and all 11 free-throw attempts (while strangely not making a field goal inside the arc) to take an early lead.
Dallas led by 15 points on several occasions in the first half and even enjoyed a 10-point advantage early in the fourth quarter.
Favors, Hayward and Rodney Hood — the Jazz’s hero before his “Hot Wing” partner’s game-winner — then went to work to help the Jazz force overtime.
“I think we have a fight in us. It seems like every time we come here they punch us in the mouth early,” Hayward said. “Today, we didn’t let it get to 20 or 30, which has sometimes happened in the past. We kind of just kept hanging around, hanging around, hit some big shots and gave ourselves a chance to win, which is all you can ask on the road.”
Hood hit the biggest shot in regulation.
After Felton and Williams exchanged free throws (six in all) and Hayward hit back-to-back layups, the Jazz found themselves trailing by three points with 7.1 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Not surprisingly, the Jazz put the ball into Hood’s hands and the second-year shooting guard forced overtime with a clutch 3-pointer a few feet behind where Hayward drained his game-winner a few minutes later.
Hood, continuing his terrific play of late, scored a game-high 29 points.
“He’s been playing phenomenal,” Hayward said. “Tonight he kept us in the game, (hit) a big 3 to tie it, which probably is a bigger shot than my shot, honestly, to give us a chance, put us into overtime. He’s been a guy we’ve leaned a lot on when we need a bucket. “
Neither team scored for 100 seconds after Chandler Parsons tied the score at 119-all with a 3-pointer with under two minutes left in overtime. The Jazz appeared to have taken the lead when Parsons was called for goaltending on a Hood breakaway layup with 39.1 seconds left, but the call was overturned.
The Jazz then ended up with a chance to run the clock out and take the last shot after Parsons missed a go-ahead trey with 25 seconds left.
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