3-POINT SHOTS now that I made it home after a slippery drive from the SLC airport after the Great Blizzard of 2010 finally arrived:
POINT 1: After Utah’s 109-97 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Deron Williams, seated in his locker, looked at the boxscore and grinned while saying something to the effect of: “I led the team in rebounding.” He only had five rebounds, though, so the Jazz might consider themselves quite fortuitous that they won this one while getting heavily outrebounded.
Utah did have four other guys with four rebounds apiece (Andrei Kirilenko, Al Jefferson, C.J. Miles and Francisco Elson), but Clippers’ beast Blake Griffin wasn’t too far from matching the entire Jazz starting lineup in rebounds. Griffin had 14 rebounds in 39 minutes; the five Jazz starters had 18 boards in a combined 161.5 minutes.
Overall, Utah finished with just 28 rebounds to the Clippers’ 39 to snap its two-game team rebounding edge streak.
The Jazz, however, have proven that they can win despite falling behind big and while losing the rebounding battle, so this might not matter after all.
POINT 2: The Jazz passes were extra good on this afternoon as they rallied past the Clippers for a second time this season (down 10 in this one, down 18 in the 2OT thriller on Nov. 6).
Utah finished with 34 assists on 41 field goals, which is an excellent ratio and a strong indicator of solid team play. So is this fact: D-Will had nine assists (to go with his 26 points), and five other players had three or more dimes. Very impressive distribution.
“We just had to give the ball to someone who was open,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “You don’t have to shoot it every time you get it. You pass the ball and you have a better chance of getting a high percentage shot.”
POINT 3: This was my first Jazz-Clippers game in Los Angeles, so I had to make a few observations after having been at that arena for the glitz and glamour that accompanies Kobe & Co.
From @DJJazzyJody on Twitter:
I think my biggest non-NBA celebrity sighting this trip will be seeing an angry-looking woman who resembled Rosie O’Donnell at SLC airport.
(I’m pretty sure it was her or at least a dang good doppleganger, and she looked ready to bite somebody’s head off if they asked. I was thinking that I might be able to break the ice by telling her my co-workers used to say she would be the celebrity that played me if a movie that included me were ever made.)
I think there were more Lakers fans at EnergySolutions Arena on Friday for the Jazz game than there are Clippers fans in L.A. today.
(To be fair, the reported attendance did end up being 17,085, including a guy who I’ll assume is the legendary Clipper Darrell, who led the crowd in a one-man M-V-P chant for Blake Griffin and clapped and yelled all game long, unlike most in the crowd who were just waiting for Griffin to rip off a rim or two.)
Being at Staples Center for a Clippers game is like going to the White House and meeting the Secretary of Interior instead of the President.
(Love or loathe the Lakers, but it’s true. Going to Lakers’ games has a prime-time feel to it. It’s hard not to fall into the stargazing trap when the purple and gold are playing. On the other hand, when you’re at a Clippers’ game, you’re looking at the bench to see if you can see an NBA player you recognize.)