Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jazz- Rockets

I'm sitting here watching the Jazz-Rockets Game 3. I saw a little of a previous game in which bodies were flying everywhere without whistles being blown. This game, the refs were calling it much closer. I felt like the refs were calling things tighter against the Rockets. Then the 4th quarter started, and the Jazz apparently decided to see how far they could take it physically. I think they picked up four fouls in the first three minutes of the quarter, and none of the calls were even debatable. Just very weird-- this quarter just has a much different feel to it then the previous quarters. It also happens to be a two point game right now (Jazz 79, Rockets 77), so maybe that has something to do with it.

[Pause as I watch the final nine minutes of the game]

Okay. After that timeout, things calmed back down, and the teams got down to just playing some good basketball.

It looked like the Rockets had sealed the deal on a victory when, with 1:40 left in the game, McGrady hit a jumper as Kirilenko ran over Carl Landry. The refs said that McGrady had released the shot before the foul, so the basket counted and then Landry got to shoot a free throw which he nailed to put the Rockets up 93-86.

Of course, it wasn't that easy. Korver hit a quick three with a minute left in the game, McGrady got called for an offensive foul when he pushed Kirilenko to the ground in an attempt to get free, and then Okur canned a three pointer with 40 seconds left to cut the Rockets lead to one (93-92). Even on the replay I couldn't figure out how Okur was so find open.

McGrady missed badly on the next trip down the court. Rather than call a time out, the Jazz looked to score in the flow-- basically looking for Deron Williams to create something. Houston played some great defense, but finally Williams managed to penetrate the middle of the lane. It looked like he was going to get a pretty good look at a lay-up, but Carl Landry got off his feet really quickly to make a fantastic block (making it even sweeter for Landry, he had lost a tooth earlier in the game when he'd accidentally been whacked in the mouth by a Jazz player). And then he made another great play to grab the ball before it went out of bounds and pass it to Luis Scola. Scola made one of two free throws, and after the Jazz missed their tip attempt at the buzzer, the Rockets had cut the Jazz's series lead down to 2-1.

Good game.

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