SALT LAKE CITY — Two of the points Derrick Favors scored in Saturday's thrilling win over the best team in the NBA were not like the others.
In the first half of what turned out to be one of the best performances of his career, the Utah Jazz big man burst down the lane, received a pass from Joe Ingles and then encountered a hurdle between him and his destination.
Instead of steamrolling over Milwaukee's Ersan Ilyasova after being bumped, Favors somehow how twisted and exploded toward the basket to destroy the rim and smash the ball through the hoop on top of the big Turkish player.
It got everybody's attention, of course.
"Derrick Favors!" Jazz TV play-by-play voice Craig Bolerjack screamed. "What a play! D-Favs explodes!"
TV analyst Matt Harpring loved it, too.
"This is the best dunk of Derrick Favors' career right here," Harpring said. "He cocks it to the right and then dunks it on Ilyasova. This is unbelievable."
"Oh, we could watch this all night," Bolerjack added. "And he loves it."
Favors followed his Karl Malone-esque power dunk with a short celebration that included him flexing his muscles with his arms bent in front of his torso, looking like Bruce Banner does after he gets angry.
"Fav was just an animal," Jazz guard Kyle Korver said, smiling. "He went into, like, Hulk mode."
Deseret News sports writer Mike Sorensen wrote about Favors' epic performance, which ended with 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting, a career-high 18 rebounds and three blocked shots in a 115-111 come-from-behind win.
In all the hoopla over the amazing Jazz fourth-quarter comeback, the outstanding play of Donovan Mitchell and Milwaukee superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo, the sterling performance by Utah’s longest-tenured player, Derrick Favors, could have gotten lost.
However, there was plenty of talk about Favors and his play after Utah’s 115-111 victory at Vivint Arena.
The very first thing Jazz coach Quin Snyder said in the postgame interview after the scintillating victory was, “Derrick Favors had a beyond outstanding effort tonight.”
Mitchell called Favors “the MVP of the game,” overlooking his own fourth-quarter heroics. Kyle Korver called Favors a “beast” and Rudy Gobert said Favors was “unbelievable.”
And then Favorsmania spread across Jazzland.
WHAT A SHOT
Though the sport of lacrosse is on the rise, it's still not often when it gets a lot of publicity. The exception happened over the weekend thanks to Utah Valley's Preston Burbidge.
The Wolverine athlete's goal — rather what he did before the goal — went viral after a 13-4 win over Simon Fraser. It even ended up in SportsCenter's Top 10 highlights.
Photographer Ciaran Giroux captured the sequence, which included Burbidge making a move that resulted in a defender tripping, the UVU player humorously/mockingly waving goodbye to the Simon Fraser athlete and then a cannon of a shot past the goalie and into the net.
Giroux's tweet, which had some fun edits, spread quickly and eventually ended up on ESPN.
Some of the responses to the play:
"Meh... To me it really lax something."4 comments on this story
"If that’s me, I’m transferring the next day. Can’t come back from that."
"All kidding aside, we shouldn’t celebrate this. It takes away from the game."
Giroux knew something special was going on with his work when it became a meme.
AND FINALLY ...
Mehmet Okur is in Utah, and the Jazz broadcast had him on as a guest during the exciting win over the Bucks.
Okur, who remains a fan favorite in Utah, enjoyed his time in his former NBA home, of course.
Oh, by the way, here's what Ilyasova looks like when he's not being dunked on by Favors.