Old buddy serves Sixers a loss in Utah
Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on January 3, 2008
Sixers4guidos favorite Kyle Korver hit 5 of his 6 free throws in the final 27 seconds of the game to secure a 110-107 Utah win (14-18, .438, 2-2 on our 6 games road trip).
Before that, it was Deron Williams & Carlos Boozer combining for key plays down the stretch to prevent what could have been a spectacular comeback by the Sixers. Trailing by ten points with 4 minutes left (91-101, Deron Williams 1-vs-0 fastbreak lay up after a bad turnover by Andre Miller), Andre Iguodala led the Sixers to a 8-0 run that trimmed the gap to two with 1.31 remaining: 99-101, 2/2 by Miller from the line.
But Deron Williams run consecutive pick & rolls for two long jumpers by Boozer that basically made the game out of reach for Philly. Between those two shots, Lou Williams scored on a drive, and after the second basket by the Jazz forward Dalembert had a putback, every time to put the Sixers within two, but it was useless. Korver did the rest from the line.
That’s how the game ended and how Utah won despite being severely outrebounded (40-26 Sixers !). Deron‘s final assists to Boozer (“Stockton-to-Malone” anyone?) were his 19th and 20th, to cap another fantastic performance against Philadelphia.
The game was enyojable and interesting for many reasons, and here is what I liked:
1) Sixers never gave up, again. We trailed by 10 in the first (8-18) and closed the quarter down 4 (20-24); we trailed by 12 in the second (30-42) and closed the half down 6 (47-53); we trailed by 13 in the third (64-77) and closed it down 7 at the buzzer (71-78), thanks to a mid court shot by Iguodala (in the picture); we trailed by 11 in the fourth (83-94) and made it a two point game (99-101, 101-103, 103-105, as I just said).
2) Sixers collected great individual performaces: Iguodala had his new season high (30) and scored in every possible way, Andre Miller was another force offensively, especially in the first half (19 with 8/10, + 4 assist), Dalembert was very solid too (curious how he had 9 offensive rebounds vs 1 defensive !), Lou contributed, even with some forced shots
3) I watched many fantastic plays: the best one came in the second when 6’2 Lou Williams went up and blocked the 6’11 Okur while he was attempting a dunk on a drive and run full court to catch an alley oop pass from Miller for the big throwdown.
Jason Smith had another great one, dunking off a miss by Iguodala while being fouled by Harpring.
4) boarding & hustle. The aforementioned edge under the glasses gave us many second chance points. I also liked that everyone seemed really spirited and gave 100% effort playing in a tough arena, against a tough team.
So what was wrong in Utah?
1) perimeter defense: Jazz knocked down 7 three pointers out of 10 attemps. And once Okur hit a jumper stepping the line, so it could have been 8/11 easily. CJ Miles shot 2/2 from behind the arc and was very good for Utah off the bench (10 points in the 4th). In general, Utah players were left wide open too many times for outside jumpers. Of course, you have to give Deron Williams a lot of credit because he has a wonderful ability to find the open man and to give him the ball timely.
2) Rodney “UAU” * Carney. Another poor game. In the first he missed a layup on a fastbreak, Sam grabbed the rebound and dished him the ball, he went up for the spectacular throwdown only to be rejected by… the rim ! The missed “big” dunk is one of Carney’s traditional trademarks, you have another fine example here.
I have some few things worth covering:
* former Jazz Gordan Giricek got some boos from the home crowd when he checked in. He looked obviously nervous, missed his first two shots and traveled once, but in the third he had a three pointer and a nice steal to stop a dangerous Jazz run. Overall not bad.
* former Sixer (wow, that still sounds strange) Kyle Korver was nervous as well – he stated that after the game – but scored his first shot (a three pointer, guess that) and ended with a nice 14 points in less than 12 minutes of action.
He’s already a crowd favorite, he still sucks on defense (Iguodala abused him), and he didn’t find the time to get a haircut in Salt Lake City yet… some things never change, you see :-)
Sixers play the Lakers on Friday to avoid a season sweep by L.A. A firey guido in Italy will follow live at 4.30 AM, screaming at his desk.
(* = Useless As Usual, Sixers4guidos’s nickname, see here)