Looking over last night’s schedule, everyone assumed the match-up between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz would be a fairly boring one. It just made sense. The Rockets are one of the better team’s in the West, and the Jazz are the worst team in the West.
The Jazz, however, were not feeling so welcoming as the Rockets made their way to Salt Lake City. Right from the tip, it was clear that the Jazz were ready to play last night.
They jumped out to a 36-23 lead after the first quarter, and even after the Rockets inevitably made their own run, the Jazz held their own the rest of the way. Going into the 4th quarter with a six point lead, Gordon Hayward and company were able to fend off James Harden and the Rockets, eventually picking up a 109-103 victory.
Hayward scored 29 points and also grabbed 5 rebounds on the night. Two of those points came early in the 1st quarter on a nifty reverse layup that came courtesy of a nice feed from Trey Burke. The rookie point guard finished with 21 points of his own, as well as handing out 6 assists.
A few minutes into the 1st quarter, Burke was slowly bringing the ball up on the left side of the court. With no numbers advantage, the rookie out of Michigan had no reason to force the action. But then Hayward made an excellent cut, and broke open in the paint. From a few feet outside the three-point line, Burke fired a bounce pass through traffic that Hayward grabbed and finished with a spinning reverse layup.
If you have any suggestions for a pass we should consider, contact me on Twitter (@jmaloney9) or by email at maloneyj(at)xavier.edu.