By Ben Golliver
What happens when you mix together a streetball legend point guard, a Slam Dunk Contest champion, pathetic transition defense and invisible rim protection? Well, probably a pretty memorable highlight.
All four elements were in play during fourth quarter garbage time of a 111-102 Jazz win over the Blazers in Utah and, wouldn't you know it, the Jazz delivered a top-shelf alley-oop dunk.
After Portland's Will Barton missed a jumper, the Blazers failed to meaningfully stop the ball in transition. That lax approach allowed Jamaal Tinsley, never a bashful ball-handler, to throw an alley-oop lob from outside the three-point arc. What made the highlight so unusual? His lob target, 2012 Slam Dunk Contest champion Jeremy Evans, was also standing behind the three-point line when the pass was released.
Taking three long strides, Evans tracked the ball perfectly, dunking it through with two hands as Nolan Smith stayed ground-bound, watching the SportsCenter fodder unfold above him.
Below, take a look at exactly where Evans was standing when Tinsley let it rip below. Amazing.
Utah easily took care of business against Portland, improving to 39-36 and maintaining their hold on the Western Conference's No. 8 playoff spot. The Jazz remain in a tight race with the Lakers and the Mavericks for the final playoff spot in the West. Al Jefferson led the way with 24 points (on 12-for-21 shooting) and 10 rebounds in 31 minutes.
Portland fell to 33-41 with its fifth straight loss. Wesley Matthews led the Blazers with 23 points (on nine-for-13 shooting).
Video via YouTube user mikeprada1