On the way off the court, after Utah's stunning 114-111 upset of the Denver Nuggets in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference first-round matchup, Denver Bronco's cornerback Champ Bailey exchanged high-fives with D-Will as the Jazz tied this best-of-seven series at 1-1.
The defeat was certainly enough to wipe the cheesy grin right off of Carmelo Anthony's face and give the depleted Jazz new hope, as they head back to EnergySolutions Arena for Games 3 and 4.
You can't say enough about Williams' clutch performance. With two starters out (Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur), and Kyrylo Fesenko stepping up to make his first start in an NBA playoff game, things didn't exactly lineup for a Jazz victory.
However, Deron Williams proved exactly why he's the best point guard in the NBA. His 33 point, 14 assist performance, not only rescued the Jazz from an 0-2 hole, it might have brought some serious doubts into the Nuggets mindset.
Now they must beat the Jazz in Salt Lake City or face elimination.
Williams controlled the first half tempo with a variety of drives to the hoop and an occassional three-pointer to mix things up. The Jazz floor-leader did more than enough to keep the Nuggets a step slow, in fact, Williams pulled a Carmelo.
He did his best to force the Nuggets defense into fouls, and they cooperated by sending Williams to the free-throw line 18 times.
The end result was a series-changing victory and one of the great playoff performances in Utah Jazz history.
I thought TNT analyst Charles Barkley made a great point at halftime. He said the biggest reason Denver was trailing 63-51, was because the Nuggets were playing horrible defense and they missed coach George Karl.
Barkley said Adrian Dantley is a very quiet coach on the bench and this Nuggets team needed somebody to yell and scream at them. Which Karl does very well.
I thought Sloan fired up his team with an early technical foul. It seemd to provide the the Jazz with an "us against the world" mentality.
And then Carlos Boozer's 14 point second quarter carried the Jazz to the break. He sparked a decisive 19-5 run, giving Utah a double digit lead and all the momentum.
I don't know if the chants of MVP from the Pepsi Center got Carmelo Anthony into a false state of security or if he just underestimated the injury-plauged Jazz, either way, this was not a memorable game for Melo.
Yeah he scored 32 points, but he was only 9-of-25 from the field. Overall, It was a frustrating night for the Nuggets star. I think he took himself out of the game by reacting to every no-call, and committing some cheap fouls down the stretch.
TNT's Mike Fratello was asked if the Jazz defense had learned something from Game 1 and his answer was "No" ...but then Fratello thought about it, and said that the shots just weren't going down for Melo like they did in Game 1.?!
Okay...a little obvious, but I guess if that's the best you can do "Czar"... I 'll take it for now. Hey, is it a bad thing to want Bill Walton back?
That's it for now, I'll have more from the Jazz-Nuggets series later on this week.