Rodney Hood did the heavy lifting and Gordon Hayward shut the door for the upstart Utah Jazz, who are finally (mostly) healthy and surging. The Jazz sealed their seventh straight win in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday night, Hood hitting one at the regulation buzzer to tie it, and Hayward draining one from the left baseline to win the extra period.
Hood, the second-year guard, finished with 29 points, five rebounds and five assists, pulling up off the bounce over Chandler Parsons from the left corner to complete a Jazz comeback after trailing by as many as 11 in the second half. The big lefty continued his breakout campaign with his third straight 30-point game and a signature moment. Deron Williams missed a bank shot as time expired to send it to OT.
It stayed back-and-forth from there, with no points scored the final 1:47 of the game after a goaltending call on Parsons’ block of Hood with 39 to go was overturned. Zaza Pachulia won the ensuing jump ball against Rudy Gobert and Dirk Nowitzki recovered it, but Parsons, who finished with a team-high 24, missed a three to set up Utah‘s final possession.
Off an out-of-bounds play following a Jazz foul, Hayward got loose and took a contested baseline look for the victory. He finished with 20 points.
The Jazz remain one of the NBA’s hottest teams and have won all seven games since Gobert and Derrick Favors returned to the starting lineup. Utah is now 26–25 and over .500 for the first time since late November. A Rockets loss at Golden State Tuesday night would move the Jazz up to seventh. If Houston wins, Utah will sit eighth, a game ahead of Portland.
Dallas meanwhile, drops to 29–26 as the West’s playoff picture continues to cloud. News of Marc Gasol’s broken foot in Memphis and Portland’s current hot streak (11 wins in the last 14 games) has the conference’s middle tier in heavy flux entering the All-Star break. With the trade deadline nearly a week away, expect things to get interesting as teams fight for postseason position.