Salt Lake City–Forget that Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko sat out with injuries for the Jazz. Remember that the Jazz had won 17 of 19, the Hawks had lost 15 straight in Utah and of course they were coming off that debacle at Golden State on Sunday night.
– “It’s big, especially with that long flight home,” Jamal said. “You don’t want to be sitting there thinking about a loss the whole time.”
– The Hawks showed resiliency in winning this one. They were down 85-79 and 95-94 but lots of guys made plays: Al (that blocked shot to stop a fastbreak layup), J.J. (that 3-pointer from the corner and a fadeaway jumper), Josh (blocked shot) and Crawford (the steal and two free throws).
– The Hawks went 2-2 on the trip. “It was a big win after an upsetting loss last night,” Bibby said. “We could have won 3 of 4 but .500 is pretty good.”
– Blowing that 18-point lead at Golden State tested the Hawks’ mettle. “After last night we could have folded it in,” Al said. “Especially with the last game of the road trip, we could have just came out with no focus.”
– “We did a good job of staying together when times got tough,” Bibby said.
– The Hawks came back from deficits in the second and fourth quarters. There wasn’t much of the panicked play that marred the end of the Warriors game. “I thought we were very composed tonight in the fourth quarter when we got down,” J.J. said. “We were able to not get rattled and made a run of our own.”
– The Hawks last won here on Feb. 13, 1993. “‘93? I was 15,” Bibby said.
– ‘Nique was in uniform that night. “I didn’t even realize that until today,” ‘he said. “Like I told them, records are made to be broken.”
– ‘Nique scored 43 points to beat the Jazz back then. “We had three ‘bigs’ hurt and I had to play power forward,” he said.
– J.J. poured in 28 to finally beat the Jazz again. “It fells great, man,” he said. “It’s been along time since the Hawks won in this building.”
– It wasn’t easy. The Jazz still gave a spirited effort and Energy Solutions Center is notorious as a tough place to play. “You saw the guy waving the little umbrella when I was shooting free throws?” Josh said. “They get under your skin, I’m not even going to lie. You can hear them. They are right there. They don’t stop the whole game. I’m glad I only have to play here once a year.”
– Marvin kept the Hawks in it early. Then Woody went to his bench. He got nothing until Mo gave the defense a lift and Jamal (4 of 8 on 3s) started making shots. “That was a total team effort by everybody who played,” Woody said. “That’s what we need the rest of the way.”
– After the offense bogged down in the third quarter, Smoove spoke up. “He kept harping on us to share the ball, share the ball and make it easier for each other” Al said.
– “I just noticed that we were passing the ball one time and taking a shot,” Josh said. “They were catching our misses and getting out on the break.”
– It was redemption of sorts for Jamal, whose technical foul late at Golden State was costly. It was awful timing for only his fourth career technical. “I rarely lose my composure,” he said. “I’ll take the blame for that loss. When good things happen I get credit so I’ve got to take blame when things go bad.”
– That and everything else about the Oakland meltdown was easier to forget after this rare W at Utah. “Yesterday was yesterday,” J.J. said. “We pulled together and got this one. That’s how we’ve got to think. That’s got to be our mentality: Whatever happened yesterday is yesterday.”
– I’m out, Hawks fans.